Cardinals Major League Notebook: 09/03/11

The Cardinals failed once again to secure their fifth consecutive win, losing at home to Cincinnati Friday night.



The Cardinals failed for the seventh time this year to run a winning streak to five games. In four of those, right-hander Chris Carpenter has been the starting pitcher.

In the first three of those games, Carpenter was backed by only two runs total. On Friday, the Cardinals scored six while he was in the game and eight overall but the Cincinnati Reds did more, scoring an 11-8 victory.

The Cardinals, with 24 games remaining, find themselves 8-1/2 games behind in both the National League Central Division and wild-card races.

The Cardinals rallied from 5-0 and 6-5 deficits but rookie left fielder Yonder Alonso's two-run homer off left-hander Marc Rzepczynski in the seventh put the Reds ahead to stay.

Carpenter, who gave up six runs in six innings, including five in the second, was not aware of the Cardinals' inability to reach five wins a row and his part in it. "I don't even think about that," said Carpenter. "That's too much analysis of what's going on.

"I'm looking into pitching well and continuing to win. But in that second inning, I wasn't able to stop the bleeding."

Carpenter criticized himself for allowing the six runs but thought he had thrown the ball well.

"I gave up six runs. I've got to be better than that. I didn't pitch well enough to give our guys a chance," Carpenter said.



SS Rafael Furcal hit his third homer in three days - a first for him in his career - in the fifth inning Friday. Furcal has five homers and no stolen bases while mostly hitting leadoff since he came from Los Angeles five weeks ago.

OF Shane Robinson, who has suffered two major injuries in the last two seasons while in the minors, has made it back to the majors. The Cardinals purchased his contract from Class AAA Memphis, where he was hitting .299 in 43 games. Robinson, who suffered a dislocated shoulder while sliding - feet first - last year and a fracture cheekbone and broken left index finger in a collision with a teammate this year, is here as a right-handed-hitting center fielder, of which the Cardinals didn't have any. Robinson was six for 25 a couple of years ago with the Cardinals. Of his call-up, the 5-foot-9, 26-year-old said, "It's kind of a dream come true. Again."

RHP Lance Lynn, who suffered a strained left oblique muscle on Aug. 9, played catch Friday night without too much discomfort. But the Cardinals placed him on the 60-day disabled list to make room for Robinson on the 40-man roster. Manager Tony La Russa said, "We didn't feel there would be enough time (for Lynn to pitch this season). And the risk is not worth having a reward there. Better off to heal completely and have a good off-season."

Although pitching coach Dave Duncan, caring for his wife Jeanine after surgery to remove a brain tumor, was in contact with manager Tony La Russa Friday, the manager said he didn't expect that Duncan would be in uniform for this nine-game home stand.

RHP Eduardo Sanchez (shoulder) and INF Nick Punto (strained left oblique) both are expected to play before the end of the season, said manager Tony La Russa.

LHP Marc Rzepczynski allowed his first homer to a left-handed batter in 57 total games with Toronto and the Cardinals this season when he was solved by Cincinnati LF Yonder Alonso in the seventh inning on Friday.

BY THE NUMBERS: 147 - Number of double plays the Cardinals have grounded into, including two in key spots on Friday.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "No chance versus little chance."

- Manager Tony La Russa, referring to left-handed batters hitting .075 against Cincinnati LHP Aroldis Chapman, compared to .185 for right-handers. La Russa had pinch hit rookie OF Shane Robinson, a right-handed batter, for lefty-hitting OF Jon Jay in a "game" situation in the eighth inning. Robinson grounded out.




RHP Lance Lynn (strained left oblique) went on the 15-day disabled list Aug. 10 and was transferred to the 60-day disabled list on Sept. 2.

INF Nick Punto (strained left oblique) went on the 15-day disabled list July 29. He began a rehab stint with Triple-A Memphis on Tuesday.

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 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.


Sat., Sept. 3 vs. REDS: Jaime Garcia (10-7, 3.73) vs. Homer Bailey (7-6, 4.35) 3:10 p.m. CDT (FOX Network, KMOX Radio and Cardinals Radio Network).

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