The Redbird Report 05/21

Joel Pineiro failed to win for the fourth straight start although he fanned a season-high seven in 5 2/3 innings.

Right-hander Joel Pineiro, who blew most of a four-run lead in the fifth inning of his last start, pitched one of his strongest games of the season on Tuesday. But after escaping two tight innings with strikeouts—he had seven for the night—Pineiro issued his second and third walks of the game in the sixth inning.

He didn't get away this time. Third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff ripped a three-run homer with two out in the sixth, and the Cardinals never rallied.

Manager Tony La Russa, appearing somewhat exasperated with his right-hander, said, "He was throwing the ball well, but he made the pitcher's cardinal sin—he walks the leadoff hitter with a two-run lead. Then he walks the tying run and … throws the ball down the middle to a guy who can hit a three-run homer.

"He made a mistake and the hitter capitalized."

Before the home run, Pineiro had fanned the dangerous Adrian Gonzalez. "The pitch to Gonzalez showed he had plenty left," said La Russa. "Hopefully there's something he can take out of this. But you can't walk the leadoff guy."

Pineiro realized his transgressions.

"The only disappointing things were the two walks and then the worst pitch of the night," he said. "One bad pitch and it turned the ballgame around.

"I paid for my mistake. I didn't do my job."

The Cardinals, who had been leaving 10 or more runners on base virtually every game, managed only three baserunners over the last seven innings.

One night after hitting four homers, the Cardinals had just one extra-base hit—a double by third baseman Troy Glaus in the second inning, when the Cardinals scored both of their runs.

Padres 3, Cardinals 2: The Cardinals couldn't win a fourth straight game, which would have been the first time they would have done that in more than a month. Joel Pineiro failed to win for the fourth straight start although he fanned a season-high seven in 5 2/3 innings. Troy Glaus and Yadier Molina both had two hits, but Molina doubled up Glaus in a key spot in the seventh after Glaus had led off with a single.


• CF Rick Ankiel said his strained right shoulder was better, but he sat out for the fourth straight game. Ankiel hopes to start Friday in Los Angeles and perhaps be available to play a bit on Wednesday.

• OF Ryan Ludwick, who had been 22-for-55 (.400) for May with eight homers, was held to one walk in four plate appearances.

• 1B Albert Pujols hit two rockets for outs but failed to reach base for just the second time this season.

• The bullpen was spotless for the second consecutive night. RHPs Russ Springer, Kyle McClellan and Chris Perez didn't allow a hit over the last 2 1/3 innings, following three perfect innings by three Cardinals relievers on Monday.

• OF Skip Schumaker did not start because of a mild heel injury although he pinch-hit in the eighth and stayed in the game.

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