The Redbird Report 05/30

A hailstorm that lasted more than a half hour threatened to wipe out the Cardinals-Rockies game in Denver Tuesday night. Unfortunately, for the Cardinals, the field was readied, the game was played and the Cardinals were hit by a storm of bad fortune in an awful fourth inning as they lost 8-3.

In a 1-1 game, the Cardinals lost right fielder Scott Spiezio with a dizzy spell before the inning started, and they lost catcher Yadier Molina with a bruised left wrist during the inning.

Right-hander Braden Looper also walked the first three hitters he faced in the inning and then served up a grand slam to catcher Yorvit Torrealba, who had no homers for the season and no extra-base hits for his last 20 games.

"(Looper) just had a funky day," manager Tony La Russa said. "He was fighting his delivery all game long."

The loss marked the 17th time in 29 losses in which the Cardinals had been defeated by four or more runs.

"They just pitched better, hit better and managed better," La Russa said of the Rockies.

Although La Russa said, "We've got some pitchers who can play the outfield," the club may have to make some roster moves because left fielder Chris Duncan is sidelined by bursitis and an infection in his left knee, and shortstop David Eckstein still is out with back spasms.

Somehow, there was good news Tuesday. Scott Rolen, recovered after suffering a mild concussion, slammed his third homer of the season among three hits, and Jim Edmonds walloped a long homer to center field.

"Maybe that's the start of something," La Russa said.

The Cardinals had been waiting virtually all season for Rolen and Edmonds to hit, but now that they are, it might not make much difference.

ROCKIES 8, CARDINALS 3: After winning three games in a row at home against Pittsburgh, the Cardinals have lost three in a row and four of their last five. The loss Tuesday dropped the Cardinals nine games under .500 for the second time this season. Right-hander Braden Looper walked a season-high five in suffering his fourth defeat in 10 decisions.


--Before C Yadier Molina suffered a bruised left wrist when hit by a foul tip off the bat of 1B Todd Helton, he had had one unsuccessful at-bat, extending his hitless streak to 13 at-bats. Immediately before that streak, he had hit safely in 15 consecutive games.

--LHP Tyler Johnson, almost impenetrable by left-handed batters this season, gave up a two-run homer to RF Brad Hawpe in the seventh inning Tuesday. Johnson was allowing left-handed batters to hit only .161 against him.

--Impatient Cardinals hitters drew only one walk in Tuesday's game after coaxing only one on Monday and none on Sunday.

--RHP Todd Wellemeyer will make his first major league start Wednesday night against the Rockies. He has made 96 minor league starts. "I still have a good feel for it," he said.

--1B Albert Pujols drove in a run with a sacrifice fly Tuesday but was held hitless for the second game in succession after he had hit safely in 11 straight.

BY THE NUMBERS: 3 -- Number of times the Cardinals scored in the first inning in their first 45 games. In that time, they were outscored 33-7.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We need to play every series like it's the last series of the season, because we're under .500." -- Manager Tony La Russa.

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