The Cardinals Major League Notebook 06/03

Righty Adam Wainwright, admitting he was thinking of his first career shutout, said, "I felt like I could have thrown 12 innings. I thought, 'They're not gong to be able to pull me off the mound tonight.'"

But after sailing through the first six innings allowing the Pirates only three singles, it unraveled for him in the seventh. Possessing a 4-0 lead, Wainwright not only lost the shutout but the complete game and then a win, too, when pinch hitter Jason Michaels hit a grand slam in the seventh and left fielder Jason Bay had a game-winning single in the eighth.

"It's the worst I've ever felt after a game," said Wainwright, who is 5-3 instead of 6-2.

"I can't remember if I've ever given up a four-run lead but I've never felt this bad. There's no reason why that happened."

Wainwright issued both of his walks in the seventh. The first was to right fielder Xavier Nady. The second was to third baseman Jose Bautista, loading the bases with two outs.

"Besides the home run," Wainwright said, "that was the at-bat of the game. (Bautista) is a good hitter but you can't let the tying run come to the plate in that situation.

"I don't know what happened there in the seventh inning. The wheels came completely off. I lost aggressiveness. And there really wasn't a reason for it. It was totally uncalled for and I completely let my team down.

"In the seventh inning, even when they put those guys on base, I completely thought I was going to get out of it and go nine."

PIRATES 5, CARDINALS 4: Albert Pujols and Ryan Ludwick each drove runs in the first and third innings as the Cardinals scored twice in both innings. But they had just four runners over the final six innings and wound up splitting the four-game series with Pittsburgh. "We had innings to add (runs) and we kept making zeroes," said manager Tony La Russa. "It stung us again."


--The Cardinals will play 18 of their next 24 games on the road. Beginning Tuesday night, the Cardinals will start a three-game series in Washington, followed by three-game series at Houston and Cincinnati. They will return home for six games against Philadelphia and Kansas City before heading out for a nine-game inter-league block on the road at Boston, Detroit and Kansas City.

--CF Rick Ankiel, one for his last 19, sat out Monday's start. Ankiel, who lined out as a pinch hitter in the ninth, was nursing various scrapes and bruises (mostly on his left hand) from when he made a spectacular diving catch at the warning track in center field on Sunday.

--RHP Mike Parisi, who gave up eight runs in 2 2/3 innings in his first big-league start Saturday, will get another start Thursday, manager Tony La Russa confirmed. He will start in Washington in place of RHP Joel Pineiro, who still is bothered by a groin strain.

--1B Albert Pujols, who went two for four, finished the seven-game home stand at 12-for-23 (.522) with three homers and six RBIs.

--OF Ryan Ludwick's two RBIs gave him a club-high 13 games with more than one RBI.

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.

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