The Redbird Report 04/29

St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Todd Wellemeyer reacts after giving up a run on a ground-rule double to Cincinnati Reds' Edwin Encarnacion during the second inning of a baseball game Monday, April 28, 2008, in St. Louis.

Two Cardinals outfielders losing sight of a ball in the twilight Monday led to what proved to be the winning run in Cincinnati's victory over the Cardinals.

With the Reds already ahead 3-0, third baseman Edwin Encarnacion hit a two-out fly to left center where left fielder Chris Duncan raised his hands, signifying that he couldn't see the ball. "Ank (center fielder Rick Ankiel) didn't see it either," said manager Tony La Russa.

The ball dropped for a double, scoring the fourth run.

Encarnacion later made sure the score stayed at 4-3 when he made a diving stop to save what would have been a game-tying hit by Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina in the seventh inning.

The Cardinals probably missed their biggest chance in the third when they loaded the bases with just one out and the middle of the order at bat. They scored only one run on a bases-loaded walk to third baseman Troy Glaus.

Ankiel continued to ease out of a slump that had hamstrung him for two weeks. He doubled in the third and homered in the fifth, accounting for his first run batted in since April 13.

REDS 4, CARDINALS 3: Right-hander Todd Wellemeyer, who didn't get the best of defensive help, suffered his first loss of the season. He retired nine of the last 10 men he faced. On the other hand, seven of the first 15 hitters he faced reached base and he allowed two runs in both the second and third innings.


--The Cardinals had a surprising leadoff man Monday night. RF Ryan Ludwick batted first for the first time as a Cardinal and it will be a surprise if he bats first again. Ludwick fanned four times in an 0-for-five night.

--RHP Brad Thompson, who had been optioned to Class AAA Memphis but who hadn't reported, was placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to April 23, after complaining of elbow problems.

--1B Albert Pujols extended his hitting streak to nine games (13-for-30, .433) and has reached base at least once in each of the Cardinals' first 27 games.

--LHP Randy Flores let five of nine batters he faced reach base, but escaped unscored upon over 1 1/3 innings, mostly because Cincinnati 2B Brandon Phillips was hit by a hard grounder struck by LF Adam Dunn in the seventh inning and was called out.

--3B Troy Glaus, on his first at-bat, was sporting some sunglasses that he borrowed as he continued his endeavor to see the ball better in Busch Stadium night games. A pair of clear-lens glasses that he had ordered had not arrived. Glaus wore the glasses for just one at-bat, when he flied out. He singled and walked without any glasses.

BY THE NUMBERS: 250 -- Career doubles for 3B Troy Glaus after he got his 10th of the season on April 23.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Rick is making good contact. He just can't get a hit." -- Manager Tony La Russa, talking about OF Rick Ankiel, whose average dipped into the .240s.

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