The Redbird Report: PIRATES 11, CARDINALS 0

Kip Wells lost his league leading 16th loss on the season and his place in the rotation may be in jeopardy.

In a typical day for the contenders in the weak National League Central Division, the Cardinals were drilled 11-0 by the Pittsburgh Pirates, but they lost no ground in the standings, remaining two games off the pace, as Chicago and Milwaukee also lost.

But right-hander Kip Wells extended his National League lead in losses by dropping his 16th. Wells gave up 10 hits in 3 1/3 innings and never gave his team a chance.

After teasing the Cardinals by winning his first two decisions in August, Wells has lost three straight, giving up 18 runs in 13 1/3 innings as his ERA has skyrocketed to 5.75.

In manager Tony La Russa's projected six-man rotation this month, Wells' next is due for a start Sunday in Arizona against the contending Diamondbacks, but La Russa and pitching coach Dave Duncan may have to rethink that philosophy.

The Cardinals already have inserted two new names into the mix. Left-hander Mark Mulder will make his first start in a year Wednesday against Pittsburgh, having recovered from rotator cuff surgery from last September. Left-hander Mike Maroth, who is over his elbow tendinitis, will start Thursday against Pittsburgh.

The Cardinals have allowed 10 or more runs on 17 occasions this season, the most times they have done that since at least 1957.

PIRATES 11, CARDINALS 0: Allowing runs in each of the first five innings Monday, the Cardinals had their winning streak snapped at three games. In two of their last three meetings with the Pirates, the Cardinals have allowed 10 or more runs. The Cardinals had just six hits, all singles.


--RHP Andy Cavazos plunked Pittsburgh OF Xavier Nady in the left side of the helmet with a fifth-inning pitch. Nady was not seriously hurt, but Cardinals manager Tony La Russa wasn't mollified. "I've said it about other guys and I'll say it about our guy," La Russa said. "If you hit a guy in the head, you ought to get suspended. Totally unintentional as it is, it doesn't make any difference."

--3B Scott Rolen confirmed that he would have surgery soon on his troublesome left shoulder, and he will be sidelined for the balance of the season. The surgery could come as early as Wednesday, and it will be performed in Cincinnati by Tim Kremchek, the Cincinnati Reds' orthopedist who performed surgery to repair a torn labrum in Rolen's shoulder two years ago. This surgery will involve scar tissue that has developed in the shoulder.

--La Russa said the club planned to use a six-man rotation for at least the next two weeks, a stretch that includes a day-night doubleheader with the National League Central-leading Cubs in St. Louis on Sept. 15.

That means that RHP Joel Pineiro, impressive since the Cardinals got him from the Red Sox some five weeks ago, will get two starts against the Cubs.

--INF Russell Branyan likely will get a start at third base in the Pittsburgh series, manager Tony La Russa said. It may come Tuesday against RHP Matt Morris.

Branyan, who had been with the team since Friday, made his Cardinals debut Monday. He singled on the first pitch he saw as a pinch hitter, and he later struck out. Hopeful of starting soon, Branyan smiled and said, "I've had too much time to sit and think."

--Cardinals pitchers hadn't allowed a home run in 25 innings before RHP Kip Wells gave one up to Pirates 3B Jose Bautista in the first inning Monday.

BY THE NUMBERS: 16 -- The number of losses for RHP Kip Wells, who could lead the National League in defeats for the second year out of three. He went 8-18 for Pittsburgh in 2005. He is 6-16 for the Cardinals this season.

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