The Cardinals Major League Notebook 06/23

A third strong effort by Joel Pineiro since coming of the disabled list failed to yield the anticipated results Sunday.

Although the Cardinals lost a chance to sweep the Boston Red Sox when right-hander Mike Parisi allowed a game-losing home run to Red Sox Kevin Youkilis in the 13th inning, they received a third strong effort from right-hander Joel Pineiro since he came off the disabled list.

Pineiro, who had been on the disabled list with a strained right groin, has given up four runs in the 19 innings he's pitched since then. The only problem is that he's had three straight no-decisions.

A 2-1 lead Pineiro took into the eighth Sunday vanished when center fielder Rick Ankiel, who had an awful day at bat, going 0-for-6, slipped as he tracked a high fly ball by Coco Crisp and the play went for a triple.

Rookie right-hander Chris Perez, who has had some recent control issues, allowed a sacrifice fly to tie the score and then walked in the lead run as he yielded three straight passes.

A clutch two-out double by pinch hitter Adam Kennedy in the ninth was also wasted as was right-hander Jason Isringhausen's escape from a bases-loaded, one-out spot (which he had caused) in the 11th. Isringhausen struck out two hitters to keep the winning run from scoring.

But the biggest day of all was by Aaron Miles, who tied a career high with five hits (all singles) and who made a brilliant defensive play to keep the game alive in the 12th.

Some aggressive third-base coaching by Jose Oquendo backfired in the top of the 13th inning. With first baseman Chris Duncan at second after a one-out double, Oquendo waved Duncan home on Kennedy's single to right. Duncan, who did not appear to turn the bag well, was beaten badly by right fielder J.D. Drew's throw and, though Duncan bowled over catcher Jason Varitek, he was out.

Parisi, who had been sent back to the minors recently following two poor starts, didn't retire either hitter he faced in the 13th.

RED SOX 5, CARDINALS 3 (13 innings): The Cardinals didn't get much mileage out of 16 hits. Notably, they left two runners on in the 10th and the bases loaded in the 11th. Their two-out-of-three performance in Fenway Park marked their sixth straight series win in succession on the road.


--SS Cesar Izturis was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring and OF Nick Stavinoha was purchased from Class AAA Memphis, where he was hitting .346 with 10 homers and 50 runs batted in. Stavinoha was 1-for-6 in his major league debut, serving as the designated hitter.

--1B Albert Pujols, on the 15-day DL with a strained left calf, is progressing well and might be able to come off the disabled list when first he is eligible on Thursday in Detroit.

--C Yadier Molina went behind the plate for the last five innings after starting at first base. That was his first time catching since he had suffered a concussion a week ago.

--OF Ryan Ludwick, so valuable most of the season, has dipped under .300. Ludwick was 1-for-6 on Sunday. He drove in a run but also hit into two double plays and fanned with the bases loaded.

--RHP Todd Wellemeyer, who has been troubled by elbow inflammation for about three weeks, apparently is set to return to the rotation on Thursday in Detroit.

BY THE NUMBERS: 4 -- Number of runs Cardinals scored in three-game sweep by Kansas City. Number of runs they scored in each of the first two innings at Boston on June 21.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's really frustrating. I want to be one of those guys that is there all year that can really be counted on to contribute." -- RHP Adam Wainwright, sidelined with a sprained middle finger on his pitching hand.

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