Cardinals Major League Notebook: 08/10/11

The Cardinals lost the first game of the Milwaukee series and pitcher Lance Lynn to injury Tuesday night.



The Cardinals have put themselves in the position of having to win at least one of the next two games at home against Milwaukee and probably both of them to maintain contact with the division-leading Brewers.

Milwaukee, winning the first game of the three-game series, 5-3 on Tuesday, hiked its lead to a season-high four games over the Cardinals, who are second in the National League Central. The Brewers beat the Cardinals for the seventh time in 10 games this season.

The Cardinals, coming off a four-game sweep at Florida, failed in their sixth attempt at running a winning streak to five games and lost rookie reliever Lance Lynn in the process.

Lynn, impressive as a late inning specialist after being a middling starter earlier in the season, strained his left oblique as he walked pinch hitter George Kottaras in the ninth. He had fanned the previous three hitters he had faced after entering the game in the eighth inning.

Manager Tony La Russa said he wasn't exactly sure what the injury was, but he knew it was severe.

"I don't see how he can avoid the (disabled list)," said La Russa. "It's a big hit for us. He's been a very useful contributor. We'll find somebody else."

To replace Lynn as the eighth-inning setup man ahead of closer Fernando Salas, Jason Motte could move back an inning, Motte, overpowering again in pitching a perfect seventh, has reeled off 21 straight appearances since June 23 without giving up an earned run. That covers 15 innings in which he has fanned 13 and walked only one.

Right-handers Kyle McClellan and Octavio Dotel, who suffered the loss in the 10th inning, also are competent late inning relievers, but La Russa and pitching coach Dave Duncan had the bullpen operating just about the way they wanted to before Lynn's injury.

The Cardinals stranded at least 10 runners for the 10th time in 10 games against Milwaukee this season.


Related article: Cardinals-Brewers factoids


1B Albert Pujols was held hitless for the third time in his last four games against Milwaukee over the last nine days. Pujols, 1-for-18 in those games, left two runners on in both the fifth and ninth innings on Tuesday.

RHP Chris Carpenter, the staff ace, will be moved ahead of RHP Kyle Lohse, as expected, to make the start in the Thursday finale of the three-game series with the Brewers. RHP Jake Westbrook, who has been more effective than Lohse lately, will work Wednesday, with Lohse, who didn't last past the third inning in his last start, to pitch Friday against Colorado. "I know (in previous years) he's went out there at less than 100 percent," manager Tony La Russa said. "We don't need him to do that. He says he's healthy. He says he feels good. Give him an extra few days and get out there against Colorado. … The (rest) can't hurt." Lohse delayed his regular bullpen session until Tuesday's game started, and he was warming up in the late innings on Tuesday but was not used.

OF-INF Allen Craig, who has been on rehabilitation option at Class AAA Memphis as he recovers from a broken right kneecap, has rejoined the team. He likely will be activated on Wednesday when suspended C Yadier Molina also returns to action. The Cardinals probably will go from three catchers to two, suggesting that rookie C Tony Cruz might go back to Class AAA Memphis until Sept. 1.

3B David Freese, showing no ill effects from the mild concussion he suffered when he hit was in the left side of his helmet by a pitch Thursday, was back in the starting lineup for the first time since the injury and had two singles, scored a run and drove in a run in five at-bats.

C Gerald Laird had a costly passed ball, which led to a run, but he also had two key hits on balls that were out of the strike zone. Laird scored one of the Cardinals' three runs and drove in another.

RHP Edwin Jackson, facing the Brewers for the second time in six days, allowed only two earned runs, on a third-inning homer off a slider by Milwaukee RF Corey Hart, in six innings. That contrasted to the eight earned runs he had given up last week in seven innings. "But we didn't win the game, so how I pitched is irrelevant," said Jackson.

BY THE NUMBERS: .128 and .148 - The respective batting averages against Milwaukee by 1B Albert Pujols (5-for-39) and RF Lance Berkman (5-for-34) this year.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "They're in front of us for a reason. They've got a great team. It's going to be pretty tough to beat them."

- RF Lance Berkman on the division-leading Milwaukee Brewers.




RHP Lance Lynn (strained left oblique) was injured while pitching Aug. 9 and appeared headed for the disabled list.

3B David Freese (mild concussion, head contusion) left the Aug. 4 game, and he didn't play Aug. 5-7. He was back in the starting lineup Aug. 9.

INF Nick Punto (strained left oblique) went on the 15-day disabled list July 29.

RHP Eduardo Sanchez (mild right shoulder strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 13. He began a rehab assignment with Class AA Springfield on July 7 but had renewed soreness soon after and was shut down until late August or early September. He was transferred to the 60-day DL on July 31.

OF Allen Craig (broken right kneecap) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 8. He began a rehab assignment with Class AAA Memphis on July 23 and was expected to return the second week of August.

RHP Adam Wainwright (Tommy John surgery in February 2011) went on the 60-day disabled list March 25. He will miss the entire 2011 season.


Wed., Aug. 10 vs. BREWERS: Jake Westbrook (9-5, 4.83) vs. Randy Wolf (8-8, 3.61) 7:15 p.m. CDT (FOX Sports Midwest, KMOX Radio and Cardinals Radio Network).


<a href='' target='_new' title='Cards react to 5-3 defeat to Brewers'>Video: Cards react to 5-3 defeat to Brewers</a>
Manager Tony La Russa, Edwin Jackson and Lance Berkman share their thoughts on Tuesday's loss.

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