Righthander Kyle Lohse, setting down the last 14 hitters he faced, threw 87 pitches in working seven innings of two-run ball against the Houston Astros in a 4-2 Cardinals win on Wednesday.
The victory was Lohse's 13th in 15 decisions, he has given up only one run in his last 19 2/3 innings and he's won seven consecutive games.
But it was center fielder Jon Jay who really beat the Astros.
Besides singling in a run to tie the game in the fifth inning, Jay aggressively took second on a poor throw home, went to third on a groundout and scored the go-ahead run on a Bud Norris wild pitch.
In the next inning, Jay made another highlight-reel catch, running down a drive by Houston first baseman Brett Wallace before banging into the same wall where Jay suffered a separated right shoulder in April.
"I don't know what his speed is," said Lohse, "but he gets a great jump and he's always getting to balls where you're not sure whether or not he should."
Jay said, "As soon as I saw it hit -- the way the ball park's been playing lately, (the ball) really hasn't been flying -- I thought I might have a chance to get under it. And I did. I do my homework. I try to put myself in all these positions in (batting practice)."
Whether it's his speed, or his jumps, or his lack of fear, Jay doesn't care what his best attribute is. "It doesn't matter," he said, "as long as the ball goes in my glove."
C Yadier Molina, second in the league in average with runners in scoring position (.353) provided cushion Wednesday with a two-out, run-scoring single in the eighth inning. Molina also leads the team in average at .321. Many will forget that he also led the World Series champions last year at .305.
LF Matt Holliday was 2 for 30 until his last two at-bats on Wednesday when he singled and doubled. He also hit a ball to the wall earlier. Manager Mike Matheny said, "You see when he starts squaring balls up on a consistent basis, he's about ready to take off."
3B Matt Carpenter, who
has made 27 starts at first base and seven in the outfield, made his ninth at
third base, giving a rest to David Freese, who is a 1 for 15 stretch. Manager
Mike Matheny said, "He needed some time. He's been tired." But Matheny said he
thought Freese and many other regulars wouldn't be getting much rest in a
10-game trip to
RF Carlos Beltran, who took a cortisone shot in his sore left hand on Tuesday and missed that night's game was back in the lineup on Wednesday. Beltran , who was four for his last 27 before Wednesday when he doubled, said he had been affected by his hand for a month-and-a-half. "I was playing. It wasn't really bothering me until the last couple of weeks, when it had become even worse. I don't know how it happened. The trainers asked me how it happened and a couldn't really any play."
CF Jon Jay is 19 for 51 (.373) while hitting first and SS Rafael Furcal, who dropped to eighth in the order, is 13 for 46 (.283) in a recent stretch while hitting in front of the pitcher. "Rafael's had a great career in that position and not everybody can hit in the leadoff spot, but right now Jon's seeing the ball well," said manager Mike Matheny. Jay has had eight hits in his last three games, raising his average to .313.
1B Allen Craig singled and scored in the second. He extended his hitting streak to 11 games, longest of his big-league career and longest current in the National League.
By the Numbers:
14 - Number of stolen
bases for CF Jon Jay, leading the team. INF Tyler Greene, since traded to
Quote to Note:
"We're fans of the game. We do pay attention. We try not to look up at there too often because we do believe we control our destiny by how we play the game. But it would be a lie to say that we didn't pay attention to what other people in the league are doing."
- Manager Mike Matheny on scoreboard watching.
RF Carlos Beltran (sore left hand) took a cortisone shot Aug. 21. He was back in the lineup Aug. 22.
1B Lance Berkman (right knee inflammation) went on the 15-day disabled list Aug. 3. He was scheduled to start a rehab assignment at Class AAA Memphis on Aug. 24 (was Aug. 22).
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. He did some light tossing from 40 to 60 feet on Aug. 16.
Link to boxscore: St. Louis 4, Houston 2