But while some were talking about Lohse's seven-inning stint in which he gave up just one unearned run, many others were talking about the first relief appearance in left-hander Mark Mulder's regular-season career in the big leagues. (He relieved in the 2003 All-Star Game.)
Mulder, who had been on the disabled list all season after having a second shoulder surgery last fall, worked a scoreless ninth, allowing two bloop singles and fanning one hitter.
The Busch Stadium crowd accorded Mulder a standing ovation when he came in from the bullpen, and La Russa said after the game, "That was as excited as I've been in a long time. The guy's worked so hard.
"This guy's a great athlete. People in this town, in this league, have only seen a little bit of him. In the American League, they know this guy is nails."
Asked what sort of future assignments Mulder would have, La Russ said, "I don't know. Enjoy the moment."
CARDINALS 7, METS 1: 2B Aaron Miles had three hits, extending his hitting streak to 12 games, 3B Troy Glaus collected his 1,200th hit and had two doubles and LF Chris Duncan hit his first homer in 86 at-bats as the Cardinals beat the Mets at Busch Stadium for the first time in the regular season since 2006.
NOTES AND QUOTES
--RHP Kyle Lohse ended June with a 5-0 mark, and he's won seven of his last eight starts (with one no-decision).
--The Cardinals haven't lost to the Mets all year. They beat New York in all five meetings the teams had in spring training.
--With the Cardinals bullpen having been taxed by an early exit from RHP Braden Looper on Sunday, the club has gone back to 13 pitchers, at least for the four-game series with the Mets. RHP Brad Thompson, who has been up and down a couple of times this year, was recalled from Class AAA Memphis, and OF Nick Stavinoha, who hit .250 in limited duty, was optioned back to Memphis.
"We've got some fried relievers," manager Tony La Russa said, "and we've got seven games (against the Mets and Cubs) without a day off."
--The Cardinals scored two runs in the first inning. They scored only two runs in three games against the Mets the last time they were here, when they opened the 2007 regular-season at Busch Stadium.
--RHP Adam Wainwright, out with a sprained middle finger on his pitching hand, was scheduled to have an MRI. Wainwright said he expected to be told if he could begin throwing again, adding that he hoped to be pitching by the All-Star break, which is July 13-15.
--Rookie RHP Mitchell Boggs, who has filled in for RHP Adam Wainwright, will take his 3-0 record into another start Thursday.
Manager La Russa wouldn't project much further than that, relative to Boggs' long-term future with the club. "When I tell him to rent an apartment, then I think that's the time to go far out," said La Russa, smiling. "We don't want to get carried away. But he's definitely given us a lift."
BY THE NUMBERS: 19 -- Blown saves by the Cardinals' bullpen in their first 83 games. They had only 11 blown saves last year.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "It just wasn't going maybe as planned, so give this a shot." -- LHP Mark Mulder, on being activated from the disabled list as a reliever.