The Cardinals Major League Notebook 0714

Second baseman Aaron Miles had some defensive misadventures both on Saturday night when he dropped the ball on a potential double-play which enabled the Pittsburgh Pirates to tie the game in the ninth inning and on Sunday when he messed up a rundown play, leading to two runs. But he more than made up for it with a career day, knocking in five runs.

Miles, who had three hits, smacked a three-run homer in the fourth to give the Cardinals an early lead and, after Pittsburgh had gone back ahead, Miles tripled in two runs to cap a four-run seventh that put the Cardinals ahead to stay.

"I don't get many big hits," said Miles, who actually is hitting .317.

The Cardinals finished their pre-All-Star break play 10 games over .500 at 53-43. They have been as high as 13 games over.

An offense that had scored two runs or fewer in six of seven games entering the three-game series at Pittsburgh exploded for 28 runs and 50 hits in three games against the Pirates and should have swept the series, but for a meltdown on Saturday when they blew a six-run lead with two innings to go.

"We're very resilient," said Miles. "We come to play every day with a chip on our shoulder.

"You play a game like Saturday night (12-11 loss in 10 innings)... that's baseball. We got the series win. It's nice to sit on that for three days."

CARDINALS 11, PIRATES 6: 3B Troy Glaus finished the series with 10 hits in 13 at-bats, including two doubles and his 15th homer on Sunday as the Cardinals took the deciding game of the three-game series. The bullpen which had surrendered eight runs in the last three innings on Saturday was flawless for 3 1/3 innings on Sunday.


--Rookie LHP Jaime Garcia, who became the 10th Cardinals player to make his major league debut when he pitched two scoreless innings of relief on Friday, will make his first big-league start next Sunday at home against San Diego.

--LHP Mark Mulder, back on the 15-day disabled list with renewed left shoulder problems, will see Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., during the All-Star break. Mulder had an MRI on the shoulder Friday in St. Louis.

--RHP Kyle Lohse (11-2) is the third pitcher in Cardinals history to win 10 or more games by the All-Star break in his first season with the team. Lynn McGlothen was 12-6 at the break in 1974 and Darryl Kile 11-5 in 2000. Lohse will pitch the first game for the Cardinals after the All-Star break against San Diego.

--OF Rick Ankiel sat out the start with a sprained left ankle which he sustained on Saturday night but he pinch hit on Sunday.

--OF Chris Duncan, who has labored through a difficult season in which he found himself in the minors at one point, had a three-hit game and drove in two runs, rising above .250.

BY THE NUMBERS: 16 -- Number of pitches LHP Mark Mulder threw in his first start of the season before having to exit because of a left shoulder strain.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "You keep getting let down." -- LHP Mark Mulder, on the many difficulties he has encountered in his so-far unsuccessful comeback from two shoulder surgeries.

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