The Cardinals Major League Notebook 06/02

Braden Looper staggered through 5 2/3 innings to gain his staff-high seventh win. Looper gave up three runs and the Cardinals benefited from a handful of outstanding defensive plays -- one each by Rick Ankiel, Skip Schumaker, Adam Kennedy, Cesar Izturis and Troy Glaus.

"I'm a little frustrated," Looper said. "I know I'm capable of throwing the ball better. I feel like I pitched just good enough."

Ankiel made the most stunning play, retreating to the warning track to make a diving catch on a ball hit directly over his head by Pittsburgh's Xavier Nady. "The ball was scorched," said Looper.

"We're a good defensive team. Izturis made a lot of good plays, and it's not to take away from him, but they are plays you expect a Gold Glove shortstop to make. He's a Gold Glove shortstop.

"That's five highlight plays," said manager Tony La Russa, who won his 2,001st game as a Cardinals manager after losing, 14-4, in his 2,000th game Saturday.

Troy Glaus homered for the second day in succession. That was the only extra-base hit for the Cardinals, who bunched five singles and a walk for five second-inning runs.

"Home runs are great, but I'd rather be driving in runs and scoring runs," said Glaus, who had been one for 22 until a second-inning homer on Saturday.

CARDINALS 7, PIRATES 4: Nine of the Cardinals' 11 hits were singles but a five-run burst in the second inning stood up. Braden Looper had two of the hits, raising his average to .429, and Skip Schumaker, who had been slumping lately, drove in three runs.


--There was a delay of 13 minutes in the fifth inning when the center field signage board got stuck.

--RHP Mark Worrell, a side-armer, was recalled from Class AAA Memphis to replace RHP Kelvin Jimenez, who was rocked in a lengthy and unsuccessful relief appearance on Saturday. Jimenez also suffered an injury to his right hand when he said he got jammed while batting.

--CF Rick Ankiel, who made some recent highlight films with a couple of his throws, made a stunning diving catch at the warning track on a ball that was hit over his head by Pittsburgh RF Xavier Nady.

"When it first got hit, I didn't think I had a chance," said Ankiel.

"You can change the outcome of the game on defense, just as you can as a hitter."

--Although he was cuffed about on Saturday, rookie RHP Mike Parisi is likely to get another start Thursday in Washington, said manager Tony La Russa, if veteran RHP Joel Pineiro's sore groin, which has placed him on the 15-day disabled list, hasn't improved.

"I don't think Joel will be ready in time, but we'll see," said La Russa.

--RHP Jason Isringhausen was one of three rehabbing pitchers to work in a simulated game Saturday at the Cardinals' complex in Jupiter, Fla. Isringhausen, facing hitters for the first time since going on the disabled list some 2-1/2 weeks ago with a lacerated hand, threw 42 pitches. According to a team official, Isringhausen "felt like his rhythm and tempo were good."

BY THE NUMBERS: 4 -- Number of Cardinals' starters who had won at least five games through May.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "What I think the fans need to remember is that here's a guy who sparked us in his first two years. I don't understand this impatience with this guy. It's atypical for the way they act." -- Manager Tony La Russa, on the Busch Stadium fans' treatment of optioned OF Chris Duncan.

The Cardinal Nation Top Stories