The Redbird Report 07/09

Right-hander Todd Wellemeyer, bidding to maintain his spot in the rotation, survived four walks in five innings by giving up only two hits and no runs Sunday against San Francisco.

But Wellemeyer didn't survive the numbers game. He will be replaced by right-hander Kip Wells in the second-half rotation. That decision was made by manager Tony La Russa, who called the demotion of Wellemeyer back to the bullpen the toughest of the first half of the season.

Wellemeyer took the decision in stride, telling the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: "It's no big deal. I'll keep doing what I did the last three years."

Wellemeyer might not have La Russa's endorsement for a starting spot, but he received plenty of offensive support from the Cardinals' outfield, and another La Russa decision -- he now seems ready to play Chris Duncan against southpaws -- paid dividends. Duncan, who bats left handed, started against San Francisco left-hander Barry Zito and had a two-run double off Zito, finishing Zito's day. Duncan added a run-scoring single later in the game.

Center fielder Ryan Ludwick had another productive game as well. After doubling home two runs as a late-inning replacement Saturday, he had two doubles and a single Sunday.

The Cardinals finished the pre-All Star break part of their schedule with a 40-45 mark and now will have 10 games on the road to start the second half.

CARDINALS 6, GIANTS 0: The Cardinals held San Francisco LF Barry Bonds hitless in seven at-bats and walked him five times in a three-game series. Five Cardinals pitchers blanked the Giants on five hits overall on Sunday, the first time the Cardinals beat the Giants in five meetings in a season series that is now over.

NOTES AND QUOTES

--SS David Eckstein, who has missed 23 games with back spasms, said he expected to return to the lineup Friday in Philadelphia.

--Ryan Ludwick made his second start in center field for the Cardinals on Sunday and had three hits.

--One day after committing three errors in one inning, Aaron Miles moved from shortstop to his more natural position, second base for Sunday's game, with rookie Brendan Ryan playing short. Ryan had hits in each of his first two at-bats.

Miles broke a nothing-for-14 skid with a second-inning single in Sunday's win.

--RHP Troy Percival, LHP Troy Cate, RHP Ryan Franklin and RHP Jason Isringhausen needed only 47 pitches to navigate the final four innings of Sunday's win over San Francisco.

BY THE NUMBERS: 22 -- Number of homerless games with which 1B Albert Pujols finished the first half.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Come talk to me in September and they'll be there. You do the math." -- 1B Albert Pujols on his homerless streak.


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