The Redbird Report 05/14

St. Louis Cardinals' pitcher Kyle Lohse looks down after giving up a two-run home run to Pittsburgh Pirates' Nate McLouth in the fourth inning.

Teams going in opposite directions from where you usually see them: The Pittsburgh Pirates, who have had 15 consecutive losing seasons, have won seven of their last eight, and the Cardinals, perennial contenders, have lost six of their last seven.

The Pirates roughed up left-hander Ron Villone for four runs in the 10th inning Tuesday, but the Cardinals let the game get away in the ninth when they loaded the bases on three walks, one intentional, before hot-hitting Ryan Ludwick flied out.

Manager Tony La Russa didn't fault Ludwick for swinging at the first pitch from rookie Marino Salas, even though Salas, making his big-league debut, had walked three. "In the big leagues, if you get that first good pitch, it might be the last one you see," La Russa said.

Ludwick said, "It was right where I was looking. Down where I like it. I couldn't have asked for a better pitch. I just didn't get the job done, that's all there is to it. It's frustrating."

The late burst by the Pirates erased a significant night for Cardinals third baseman Troy Glaus, who hadn't driven in a run in 12 games and who had just one homer for the season.

Glaus cracked his second homer, a three-run drive in the sixth inning off Pittsburgh LHP Phil Dumatrait. The three runs batted in were the first for Glaus, who has 24 RBIs overall, against left-handed pitching all season.

PIRATES 8, CARDINALS 4 (10 innings): Kyle Lohse, staked to a 3-2 lead in the seventh inning, was unable to hold the advantage as he gave up two doubles and a single. Albert Pujols, extending his hitting streak to 12 games, homered to tie the game in the eighth, but the Cardinals lost in the opposition's final at-bat for the third time in the last seven games.


--LHP Tyler Johnson will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder Wednesday in Los Angeles. Johnson, who felt discomfort while warming up for what would have been his first spring training appearance in early March, will be operated on by Neal ElAttrache, the Dodgers' head doctor.

The 26-year-old Johnson, who likely will be out for most, if not all, of the rest of the season, spent two months on the disabled list last season with left biceps tendinitis.

--LHP Mark Mulder, who had been told to rest a mild shoulder strain for a week, worked a pregame bullpen session Tuesday. Pitching coach Dave Duncan said he had Mulder throw nothing but sinkers for his 40-pitch allotment.

"I think we took a step in the right direction," Duncan said. "I don't think we accomplished everything we need to accomplish. We're trying to get the same sinker he had prior to the surgeries. It's not quite there yet, but we're working on it. That's the big key for him. That's what makes him a good pitcher."

--RHP Kyle Lohse gave up only his second homer in 47 1/3 innings when Pittsburgh CF Nate McLouth connected in the fourth inning.

--1B Albert Pujols extended his string of games in which he reached base to 40 by walking in the first inning. He later homered to extend his hitting streak to 12 games.

--The three runs the Cardinals scored in the sixth inning marked the first time they had scored that many in an inning since May 6, when they scored three in an inning at Colorado. In the six losses they have suffered recently, they have scored three runs in five of the games and four in one.

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