Cardinals Major League Notebook: 08/17/11

The Cardinals pen faltered as Pittsburgh also took game two Tuesday night.



Left-handed reliever Arthur Rhodes had retired Pittsburgh's Garrett Jones, a left-handed hitter, nine times in nine career at-bats before Tuesday night. There would not be a 10th straight out.

Leading off the 11th inning of a tie game, Jones rocketed a 2-2 Rhodes slider over the fence in right field for a game-winning homer and a 5-4 Pirates victory over the Cardinals.

The Cardinals have lost the first two games of this series and have fallen further behind the National League Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers, who put the Cardinals seven games in arrears with a 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. It is almost becoming academic.

"It's a frustrating loss," said manager Tony La Russa. "We did some really good things to come back and to hang in there. ... It's a tough thing to take."

It marked the 11th time the Cardinals have suffered a walk-off loss in either the ninth inning or extra innings this season.

Asked how difficult a loss it was, La Russa said, "I don't really know how to answer that because nobody cares. They just care whether you won or lost. We lost. They won. If (people) want us to suffer some or me to suffer some or whatever, I guarantee you we will. They're not suffering alone."

Rhodes said he was hoping his fateful slider would find the dirt and Jones would swing on top of it. "What else are you going to do? You can't make it come back," said Rhodes.



RHP Fernando Salas surrendered his sixth home run and blew his fourth save when Pittsburgh 2B Neil Walker knocked Salas' first pitch of the ninth inning over the wall in right-center. Salas is 22 for 26 in save opportunities.

1B Albert Pujols hit his National League-leading 30th homer of the season, extending his major league record of 30-homer seasons from the start of a career to 11. The homer was his 28th at PNC Park in the 11 seasons it has been in existence. Since Pujols returned from a left wrist fracture on July 6, he has homered 13 times in 36 games. "He's definitely had a (lousy) year," manager Tony La Russa said sarcastically. "I wonder where all the experts are now." Pujols said, "Thank God I'm able to stay healthy and be able to do the things I have done during the season. I don't need to show anybody about my power. I know what I can do."

Class AA Springfield right-hander Shelby Miller, the team's top pick in the 2009 draft, has been suspended indefinitely. General manager John Mozeliak, without elaboration, said the 20-year-old Miller had been set down for a "violation of team policy."

According to two sources, the incident involved an altercation at an apartment in Springfield, Mo., with alcohol also being involved. Miller, a Texas native, will not accompany the Springfield team on its six-game trip to San Antonio and Corpus Christi beginning on Wednesday, but he still is expected to make a start before the season ends on Sept. 5. Miller, 20, is 7-3 with a 2.97 earned run average at Springfield after being promoted from Class A Palm Beach.

To land speedy high school OF Charlie Tilson from New Trier High School in Winnetka, Ill., the Cardinals had to go well above "slot" for their second-round choice in the June selections and the 79th choice overall. Tilson, who had a scholarship offer from the University of Illinois, received a bonus of $1.275 million, or nearly as much as the $1.3 million the Cardinals gave first-round pick Kolten Wong, a University of Hawaii second baseman.

LHP Raul Valdes, put on waivers last week when the Cardinals signed LHP Arthur Rhodes, was claimed by the New York Yankees.

RHP Chris Carpenter fanned 10 Tuesday, marking the high for a Cardinals pitcher this season. It was his 13th double-figure strikeout game, tying him with LHP Steve Carlton for second place on the Cardinals' career list. RHP Bob Gibson leads with 74.

BY THE NUMBERS: 4 for 23 - Cardinals' record with men in scoring position in the first two games of the series at Pittsburgh.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "If we don't win and Milwaukee doesn't lose, we're not going to win it. We've got to string something together."

- OF Lance Berkman.




RHP Edwin Jackson (right hamstring cramp) left his Aug. 14 start early but said the next day that it isn't a problem. Jackson will have an extra day of rest before his next scheduled start Aug. 20 in Chicago.

RHP Lance Lynn (strained left oblique) went on the 15-day disabled list Aug. 10.

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.

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. 17 at PIRATES: Kyle Lohse (10-7, 3.37) vs. Paul Maholm (6-13, 3.60) 6:05 p.m. CDT (FOX Sports Midwest, KMOX Radio and Cardinals Radio Network).


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Manager Tony La Russa and his players hope to regroup after Tuesday's 5-4 defeat to the Pirates.

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