Even though he led the staff in wins with 12, Kyle Lohse had had eight days off between starts and had spent three of those in the bullpen as a potential reliever. If he was disappointed, Lohse kept quiet about it publicly.
Tuesday, Lohse did his talking from the mound, chalking up win No. 13 by blanking the Milwaukee Brewers on four hits in six innings as the Cardinals posted a 4-2 win.
Lohse (13-8) pitched out of a bases-loaded spot in the first and then stranded two runners in both the fourth and fifth. "He kept a fast tempo and he set the tone," said center fielder Jon Jay.
Jay set the tone himself with his 10th homer of the season in the third and knocked in another run with a single in the seventh. Jay has jumped his average back over .300 by going 8-for-14, with four straight multi-hit games, on the homestand.
Lohse, who featured a good changeup, is just two wins shy of tying his career high, set in 2008 with the Cardinals. "I thought Kyle stepped up huge," said manager Tony La Russa. "(The Brewers) were trying to finish this thing off, and you can't give him enough credit."
The first inning took Lohse 28 pitches to navigate. "It had been eight or nine days since I'd been out there," he said. "With that lineup, I didn't want to make any big mistake by leaving the ball out over the middle."
Lohse said he didn't think the extra time off really had helped him. "It was kind of a weird eight or nine days," he said. "I wasn't able to do anything normal, really. I was live in the bullpen.
"But I was able to make it work."
As in their previous two games against
"We'll take him. No, I can't say that. That's tampering," said La Russa. "But he's got all the weapons. He's got 15 wins. He's as good as there is."
RHP Kyle Lohse became the first Cardinals
starter to work six scoreless innings in a start since RHP Chris Carpenter in a
1-0 win over
RHP Jason Motte's streak of consecutive
scoreless appearances was stopped at 21 and his mark for appearances without an
earned run was at 33 before he gave up a run in the ninth. But, immediately
afterward, Motte wrapped up his second save by getting
SS Rafael Furcal had one of his best games as the Cardinals' leadoff man. Furcal, who also played well in the field, walked to set up a first-inning run, stroked a single to left while running out of the box softball-style in the fifth and slapped a hit-and-run single to left on a low pitch to set up a run in the seventh.
INF Nick Punto was activated from the disabled list for the third time this season. Punto has been sidelined, in order, by surgery for a sports hernia, right forearm soreness and a strained left oblique muscle. He isn't likely to see much action the rest of the season, though, as the Cardinals look at young SS Tyler Greene, who had a big season at Class AAA Memphis.
BY THE NUMBERS:
8-9 - Cardinals' record against
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I don't care about the six innings (of scoreless pitching). I got Counsell out three times. I threw BP fastballs at him and got him very confused."
- RHP Kyle Lohse, on retiring
INF Nick Punto (strained left oblique) went on the 15-day disabled list July 29. He was 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 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.
Sept. 7 vs. BREWERS: Chris Carpenter (8-9, 3.92) vs. Zack Greinke (14-5, 4.00)
7:15 p.m. CDT (FOX
VIDEO FROM FOXSPORTSMIDWEST.COM
Kyle Lohse threw six scoreless innings during the 4-2 win against Milwaukee.