Cardinals rookie Joe Kelly, who may or may not have been pitching for his spot in the rotation, blanked the Arizona Diamondbacks for six innings Tuesday night before leaving in the seventh inning of an 8-2 Cardinals win.
With left-hander Jaime Garcia working
his fourth, and presumably final, injury rehabilitation start Tuesday night at
Fanning six in 6 1/3 innings, tying his longest stint as a major-leaguer, Kelly (3-5) was solved only for a two-run homer by Arizona's Miguel Montero in the seventh inning.
Second baseman Skip Schumaker, who helped Kelly by starting two double plays, including one a dazzling grab to his left, said he isn't the manager but ...
"I love (Kelly) in the rotation -- he's making it really difficult on everyone to move him out," said Schumaker. "When you're throwing 96 (miles an hour) with a good changeup and commanding your slider, that's not a comfortable at-bat. We think the world of him."
Manager Mike Matheny said it was "too early" to say who would be the Sunday starter against Pittsburgh but praised Kelly for being able to separate any anxiety about his status from being able to complete his task.
"He's a competitor and you can't teach that," said Matheny. "It's not necessarily in everybody who walks in that clubhouse.
"Everybody has the distractions. This is a great test for him and, so far, he's doing a nice job of it."
LHP Brian Fuentes is not expected to return to the team this season after the pitcher notified club officials on Monday that he had to attend to a personal matter at home in California and would not be reporting to the ballpark. The Cardinals placed Fuentes on the restricted list, which means he no longer draws a salary from the club and is not on the active roster. To take his place in the bullpen, the team promoted RHP Trevor Rosenthal from Class AAA.
Fuentes "said he is dealing with some personal issues and that at this time he could no longer play for us," general manager John Mozeliak said. "He chose not to be here (Tuesday). When a player fails to report, your option is to release (him) or put him on the restricted list. … I did not dig in on (the reason). He was not looking to share exactly what was going on. I was disappointed, frankly. If you think back to our trading-deadline strategy, he played into how we made decisions. To have it end this way is definitely disappointing."
A spokesman for Fuentes' representatives said, "It's family-related and there's no indication of when he will be back."
Fuentes had a 9.00 earned run average in five innings with the Cardinals.
LF Matt Holliday's 23rd home run, a 437-foot, two-run shot to left in the fourth inning, was a milestone of sorts. It was his 23rd homer, surpassing last year's total by one.
CF Jon Jay extended his hitting streak to eight games with a homer and a single. He is 17 for his last 32 (.531), and from his new spot in the batting order, leadoff, Jay is 11 for 24 (.458).
INF Matt Carpenter drove in two runs with a pinch double in the eighth. He has knocked in 10 runs as a pinch hitter, most by a Cardinals rookie in nearly 60 years.
1B Matt Adams, who hit a
couple of homers in an early season call-up by the Cardinals, won't play again
this season - he had a bone spur removed from his right elbow.
By the Numbers:
18-5 - Cardinals' record at home since July 1.
Quote to Note:
"Anything hit out into center field, I feel like there's a play on it every time. The ball could be crushed, laced, whatever. He can lay out or climb walls to rob homers."
- RHP Joe Kelly on CF Jon Jay, who made another outstanding catch Tuesday night.
C Yadier Molina (sore left hand and elbow) did not play Aug. 12.
1B Lance Berkman (right knee inflammation) went on the 15-day disabled list Aug. 3.
LHP Jaime Garcia (left shoulder strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 6, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on July 16. After further examination, it was determined that he has tearing in his rotator cuff. He threw 40 pitches from 60 feet on flat ground for the first time in a month July 4. He threw live batting practice July 25. He began a rehab assignment July 30 in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League, and he was slated to make four starts before a potential return to the Cardinals in mid-August.
RHP Kyle McClellan (torn labrum in right shoulder) went on the 15-day disabled list May 18 due to a strained right elbow, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 30. He threw on flat ground for the first time July 3, but he subsequently felt shoulder pain. He had season-ending shoulder surgery July 10.
RHP Chris Carpenter (weak right shoulder) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 26, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 10. He threw for the first time since March on June 13 and then threw another 40 pitches on June 15. He threw to hitters for the first time June 22 but then had a setback June 25 when he felt renewed weakness in the shoulder. He said it felt better the next day, and he had an extensive throwing session off flat ground June 27. On June 28, he was told he has thoracic outlet syndrome, which can cause, among its effects, weakness in one's shoulder. A July 2 bullpen session was canceled. He underwent season-ending surgery July 19 to relieve thoracic outlet syndrome.
Link to boxscore: St. Louis 8, Arizona 2