Cardinals Major League Notebook: 09/06/11

The Cards lost the Milwaukee series home opener on Labor Day amid complaints about afternoon shadows.



Four days before, the Cardinals had cut the Milwaukee Brewers' lead to 7 1/2 games in the National League Central with a three-game sweep at Milwaukee.

But after losing three of their last four games, the latest a 4-1 loss to Milwaukee at home on Monday, the Cardinals again are 10 1/2 games out with just 21 games to play.

"This is baseball; you can't figure it out," St. Louis first baseman Albert Pujols said. "You think we're not trying? It is what it is. They're playing well. Give the credit to those guys.

"We're trying to do the best we can to hopefully not hand the Central Division to these guys. Just fight to the end the same way we did in April and the last 140 games."

The Cards' best chance for making the postseason now is the wild-card race. But they entered the day trailing Atlanta by 8 1/2 games although the teams are slated for a three-game set in St. Louis this weekend.

The Cardinals got only one run off Milwaukee left-hander Randy Wolf in eight inning although shadows from the 3:15 p.m. start were a factor.

"He was good." Pujols said. "I don't want to disrespect the job that he did. It wasn't fair for us to see. And it wasn't fair for them to see, either."

Milwaukee left fielder Ryan Braun said the late afternoon start and finish in the shadows was "not fun as a hitter. It's really not safe at all. You don't look forward to it, that's for sure."



RHP Jake Westbrook, featuring his best changeup of the season, fanned nine in the first four innings while getting only one grounder in that time. He finished his six-inning stint with that career-high-tying nine, getting more groundballs later on, but he still suffered his eighth loss in 19 decisions. He is 1-2 in games against Brewers LHP Randy Wolf this season.

The Cardinals have interest in re-signing SS Rafael Furcal, who will be a free agent. Furcal has hit five home runs since joining the club on July 31 in a trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers and significantly has improved the infield defense. "When you look at our club, since he came to our team, he's just really changed the look of it," said general manager John Mozeliak.

INF Tyler Greene will get some playing time when he comes up Tuesday from Class AAA Memphis. Greene, who has had a big year at Memphis, has not succeeded in several trials with the Cardinals when he has played sporadically. "If he gets a chance, he'll probably play some shortstop here," said manager Tony La Russa.

OF Nick Stavinoha was not brought back to the majors despite knocking in more than 100 runs at Memphis. But manager Tony La Russa said, "He deserves to be in the big leagues wherever he can get a chance. There's a big-league spot somewhere for him that he's earned."

INF Nick Punto, on the disabled list for the third time this season, will be brought back Tuesday from a rehabilitation option for his strained left oblique muscle.

C Tony Cruz, who played well earlier with the Cardinals, was recalled from Memphis. OF Adron Chambers, who stole 22 bases and hit 10 homers for Memphis, will be up for the first time.

BY THE NUMBERS: 36-32 - Cardinals record against the National League Central Division. Milwaukee is 45-24 against the division.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "The problem is when you're having fun when you're losing. Then you've got the wrong guys in uniform."

- Manager Tony La Russa, to the suggestion that teams that are winning are having more fun.




C Yadier Molina (sore left calf) did not play Sept. 3-4. He was back in the lineup Sept. 5.

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

INF Nick Punto (strained left oblique) went on the 15-day disabled list July 29. He will be activated Sept. 6.

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.


Tue., Sept. 6 vs. BREWERS: Kyle Lohse (12-8, 3.72) vs. Yovani Gallardo (15-9, 3.68) 7:15 p.m. CDT (FOX Sports Midwest, KMOX Radio and Cardinals Radio Network).


<a href='' target='_new' title='Cardinals after loss'>Video: Cardinals after loss</a>
Albert Pujols, Jake Westbrook and manager Tony La Russa speak about Monday's 4-1 defeat.

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