The Cardinals Major League Notebook 06/09

For the fourth time this season, the Cardinals lost the first game of a three-game series with the Houston Astros and then won the series. Sunday's seventh win for Kyle Lohse probably was one they had no business winning.

The Cardinals, held to a pair of hits by Houston lefty Wandy Rodriguez for six innings, scored five times in the seventh, an inning which featured just two hits but two Cardinals batters were grazed by pitches and two errors were committed by Houston fielders. One was by Ty Wiggington on a sure double-play ball hit by Troy Glaus, which would have made the situation two outs and nobody on.

Kyle Lohse, who was batted for in the seventh, ran his record to 7-2, with his only mistake a three-run homer he served up in the third inning to Lance Berkman.

The Cardinals' bullpen was impressive. Russ Springer stranded the potential tying run at second in the seventh and Randy Flores stranded two runners in scoring position in the eighth.

Ryan Franklin, the closer in Jason Isringhausen's absence, recorded his eighth save in dramatic fashion by fanning the side in the ninth.

"I'm not usually a big strikeout guy," said Franklin.

CARDINALS 5, ASTROS 4: Brendan Ryan drilled a two-run single up the middle with two out in the seventh, erasing a 3-2 deficit. The Cardinals moved to 11 games over .500 for the second time this season and Kyle Lohse won his fourth straight start. Lohse has given up only five earned runs in 23 innings in that span.


--RHP Adam Wainwright returned to St. Louis to have his sprained right middle finger examined. Wainwright said he felt a pop while pitching in the sixth inning Saturday in Houston. He left the game at that point but still earned the win.

--RHP Jason Isringhausen, who has been on the disabled list with a lacerated right hand, will begin a rehab assignment Monday when he makes a start for Class A Palm Beach (Jupiter, Fla.).

--The Cardinals, one of just three teams with a winning road record, ran their away mark to 17-14 and are 4-2 on their nine-game trip. They have lost just three series this season -- all to second-division teams (San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Colorado).

--CF Rick Ankiel, sidelined by an infected right knee, should be ready to return to the lineup Tuesday in Cincinnati.

--The Cardinals already have clinched their season series with Houston, winning eight of the first 12 games, with three remaining.

--RHP Mitchell Boggs, who worked two innings of relief on Friday, is expected to make the first start of his big-league career on Tuesday in Cincinnati, where OF Ken Griffey Jr. will still be seeking his 600th home run.

--The Cardinals have used 30 pitchers in the last six games, winning four of them.

BY THE NUMBERS: 14 -- Consecutive scoreless outings by RHP Russ Springer through June 8.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "His spot on the club is waiting for him. When he's ready, he gets it." -- Manager Tony La Russa, on rehabbing closer Jason Isringhausen.

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