The Cardinals had won their first seven games since right-hander Jeff Weaver arrived in a trade with the Angels. But when Weaver took the mound for the Cardinals for the first time Monday night, the streak came to an abrupt halt. Losing a full-count, foul-ball-laden battle in the third inning with Atlanta catcher Brian McCann, Weaver surrendered a grand slam that was the fulcrum for a 15-3 Atlanta victory.
Weaver, who took the place of spotty Sidney Ponson, hadn't pitched in 20 days. The Angels dealt him after he compiled a 3-10 record and a 6.29 ERA. On Monday, Weaver allowed six runs on eight hits in four innings.
Weaver did draw a walk in his second plate appearance as a Cardinal after fanning as a pinch hitter in an extra-inning game. And he recorded his 1,000th career strikeout against Edgar Renteria, who was the 4,000th victim of Roger Clemens a few years ago. But Weaver also allowed two homers, running his total to an astounding 20 in just 92 2/3 innings.
"That's a starting point -- and we'll work from there," manager Tony La Russa said after the game. "We're going to definitely be fair (to Weaver)."
REPLAY: Cardinals pitchers surrendered 20 hits and allowed the Braves to score multiple runs in the third, fifth and sixth innings of Atlanta's 15-3 win Monday.
Atlanta hit four homers to the Cardinals' one. Opponents now have out-homered the Cardinals 111-94.
--Monday's loss was the Cardinals' worst since the 20-6 shellacking administered by the White Sox on June 20. That was the start of an eight-game losing streak.
--LHP Randy Flores, who had been bothered by an elbow problem, made his first appearance of the second half and gave little indication that he was over the ailment, giving up five hits and four runs in one inning.
--RHP Jason Isringhausen pitched a mop-up inning in the ninth. The closer hadn't appeared since Thursday's 14-inning game.
--1B Albert Pujols doubled home a run in the sixth, extending his streak of games with at least one RBI to seven. He has 10 RBIs in those games.
--3B Scott Rolen, who was pulled after two at-bats, saw his hitting streak end at nine games.
--CF Jim Edmonds' fourth-inning homer marked the 14th consecutive game in which the Cardinals had homered. The streak is four off the club record set in 2000 during the Mark McGwire era.