Cardinals Major League Notebook: 09/05/11

The Cards lost another series as they fell in extra innings to Cincinnati on Sunday afternoon. Edwin Jackson pitched well, but the offense and bullpen struggled. Milwaukee's magic number is 13.

INSIDE PITCH

 

Right-hander Edwin Jackson is giving management something to think about for next season.

The oft-traded Jackson, acquired from Toronto in late July, recorded his sixth straight start Sunday in which he allowed three earned runs or fewer. Jackson will be a free agent after the season and, while the Cardinals have big priorities, such as re-signing first baseman Albert Pujols, they can ill afford to pass on potential starting pitching help. They will have to at least make a bid to retain Jackson, 28.

After giving up a two-run homer to Cincinnati shortstop Edgar Renteria on a flat slider in the first inning, Jackson blanked the Reds the rest of the way over a seven-inning stint Sunday, fanning eight, his high with the Cardinals. That, however, was not enough to prevent the Cardinals from falling 9 1/2 games behind in the National League Central Division as they fell 3-2 in 10 innings.

Jackson, who has a history of some control issues, walked just two Sunday. He has not walked more than three in any of his eight starts for the Cardinals.

Right-hander Fernando Salas, who has had a disappointing end to what has been a good season, allowed a run in the 10th inning, handing him his sixth loss of the year. The Cardinals are 6-12 in extra-inning games.

"Our extra-inning record is not good," said manager Tony La Russa. "For as good as our bullpen's been at times, it's made some mistakes."

But La Russa spoke mostly afterward about his team's offense, which netted just two runs off 11 hits.

"It was an aggravating, frustrating day offensively for our team," said La Russa. "Listening to the grumbling in the dugout, I'm sure guys are disappointed with their production today."

Right fielder Lance Berkman, who had one single, also hit three other balls hard for outs. Shortstop Rafael Furcal was robbed of a run-scoring single in the second when his drive up the middle glanced off Cincinnati right-hander Bronson Arroyo's leg.

"We could easily have had six or seven runs," said Berkman. "It just didn't happen."

Boxscore

NOTES, QUOTES

CF Jon Jay, who had 25 extra-base hits last year as a rookie, delivered his 31st of the season and third in the last two games when he hit his ninth homer in the first inning. Jay, who batted .300 as a rookie, is at .301 this year and is nine for 19 against Reds RHP Bronso Arroyo.

1B Albert Pujols, LF Matt Holliday and RF Lance Berkman each had only one hit in 14 total at-bats although Berkman hit three outs hard to right field off of Cinicinnati starter Bronson Arroyo, including narrowly missing a home run in the first inning. "He's survived for a long time," said Berkman. "He's obviously not chopped liver. Even though his velocity is not awe-inspiring, it's still good pitching."

The Cardinals' magic number for being eliminated in the division race is 13, with Milwaukee coming to town. After sweeping the Brewers in Wisconsin in their previous series, the Cardinals lost two of three to Cincinnati while the Brewers swept the Astros in Houston. "If we had been able to win two of three (from Cincinnati), it would be a lot more compelling, I guess," said Berkman.

RHP Edwin Jackson had been a .313 hitter for the Cardinals entering the game. But he struck out three times, including twice with a runner at third and one out. "Pitcher or no pitcher, you can always help yourself at the plate," said Jackson. "I definitely had the opportunity to put the ball in play and I didn't do so."

3B Daniel Descalso, getting a rare start lately, had two hits, including a run-scoring triple in the fourth. The RBI was his first in exactly a month.

C Yadier Molina missed a second consecutive start because of left calf tightness. He is somewhat doubtful for Monday. "Hopeful is the best way to put it," manager Tony La Russa said.

BY THE NUMBERS: 19-21 - Cardinals' record in one-run games.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We're trying to get something going. This was a big game to lose. It was not a good day."

- Manager Tony La Russa, after his team had lost, 3-2, in 10 innings to Cincinnati.

ROSTER REPORT

 

MEDICAL WATCH:

C Yadier Molina (sore left calf) did not play Sept. 3-4. He is day-to-day.

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.

NEXT GAME

Mon., Sept. 5 vs. BREWERS: Jake Westbrook (11-7, 4.72) vs. Randy Wolf (11-9, 3.58) 3:15 p.m. CDT (FOX Sports Midwest, KMOX Radio and Cardinals Radio Network).

VIDEO FROM FOXSPORTSMIDWEST.COM

<a href='http://www.foxsportsmidwest.com/pages/video?UUID=25dc0fa5-9725-481f-bb22-e24bf973b9d5&src=SLPl:embed::uuids' target='_new' title='Cards edged 3-2 in 10th'>Video: Cards edged 3-2 in 10th</a>
Tony La Russa and the Cards discuss how the lack of offense contributed to the loss against Cincinnati.


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