The Redbird Report 04/16

Braden Looper, who had the major leagues' best daytime ERA at 1.82 last year, was only 5-11 with a 6.75 ERA at night. But it's a new year, and Looper is 3-0 in his first three starts, all night games, with an ERA of 2.70.

Looper gained credit for the Cardinals' 6-1 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday, but rookie Kyle McClellan earned it as much as Looper.

McClellan, who really has had just one misstep in his first two weeks as a big-league reliever, bailed Looper out of a jam in the sixth. Taking over after Looper had issued the final two of his five walks, McClellan got Bill Hall to ground into a double play, and then he pitched a perfect seventh before turning the game over to Ryan Franklin and Anthony Reyes.

"McClellan was nails," manager Tony La Russa said. "You can't do better than that."

Milwaukee had just two singles and a double for the night.

With veteran Russ Springer expected to come back onto the roster next week, another corresponding move will have to be made. But La Russa said of McClellan going anywhere, "Where he goes, I'll go with him."

CARDINALS 6, BREWERS 1: Skip Schumaker drove in his first two runs of the season, and Adam Kennedy had his first three-hit game since July. Albert Pujols gave the fans a scare when he dropped his glove in pain after tagging out Milwaukee's Bill Hall following his reception of an errant throw. Pujols stayed in the game with what has been described as a bruised left wrist.


--RHP Braden Looper tied his career high with five walks Tuesday.

--The three hits allowed by four Cardinals pitchers were the fewest since July 27, when the Cardinals also held Milwaukee to three hits in St. Louis.

--LHP Mark Mulder, recovering from a second shoulder surgery last year, tossed 63 pitches in five innings and allowed six hits and one earned run in his first rehabilitation start for Class A Palm Beach. INF Brendan Ryan, recovering from a ribcage strain, played in the same game. He is now 1-for-9 in two games with Palm Beach.

--At 10-4, the Cardinals are tied with Arizona for the best record in the majors.

--1B Albert Pujols, who stayed in the game after suffering a bruised left wrist, already had singled in the first inning, extending his hitting streak to seven games (11-for-28, .393).

BY THE NUMBERS: 15 1/3 -- Number of scoreless innings as a Cardinal for RHP Kyle Lohse before he allowed two runs in the fourth inning last Friday against San Francisco.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "People pay attention to the ninth inning and sometimes overlook what goes before." -- RHP Jason Isringhausen, extolling the virtues of such setup men as RHP Ryan Franklin.

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