The Cardinals Major League Notebook 07/23

Although the Cardinals bullpen lost for the 22nd time Tuesday night, manager Tony La Russa is wearying of having the relievers taking most of the blame.

"You think the bullpen lost this game?" he said. "You think they lost the game (Monday, a 6-3 defeat in 10 innings)? It's not the bullpen. Usually, I say it's a team loss. But it's on the offense. We need to score more runs."

The Cardinals roughed up former Cardinal right-hander Jeff Suppan for three runs in the first three innings but stranded five runners in those innings. Then, they got only two singles off Suppan in the next four frames.

Kyle McClellan was the one in the eye of the storm this time, putting a fastball in the wheelhouse of Milwaukee's Bill Hall with two outs in the ninth inning of a tie game. Hall cracked it 414 feet for his second game-winning homer in two nights.

Kyle Lohse deserved better than a no-decision, but the inefficiency of the bullpen may have caused La Russa to go a batter or two too long with him in the eighth.

Lohse, who gave up just one hit through six innings, was touched for a run in the seventh.

Then, having pitched eight innings just once this year, he weakened in the eighth this time, allowing two more runs.

"He pitched a game we should have won," La Russa said.

BREWERS 4, CARDINALS 3: The Cardinals lost for the second night in succession on a final-inning home run by Milwaukee's Bill Hall. For the second night in a row, the Cardinals took a 2-0 lead in the first inning. This time, RF Ryan Ludwick hit his 23rd homer, and CF Rick Ankiel singled home 1B Albert Pujols. But the Cardinals would score just once more, on C Yadier Molina's double in the third.


--OF Chris Duncan, hitting .248 with six homers and 27 RBIs, was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a pinched nerve in his neck. "I knew he was having issues ... but it was getting progressively worse," manager Tony La Russa said.

OF/1B Joe Mather was called up from Class AAA Memphis for the third time this season.

--RHP Adam Wainwright threw 40 pitches in the bullpen as the first step in his on-field rehab from a ruptured pulley in the middle finger of his right hand. Wainwright expects to throw every other day for a week and then be re-evaluated, but he hopes to be pitching in the majors by the second weekend in August.

--RHP Kyle Lohse threw a season-high 110 pitches. Though he got a no-decision, Lohse hasn't lost in his last 14 starts.

--Memphis CF Colby Rasmus, the top prospect in the system, had to leave the Class AAA game in the first inning after suffering a knee injury while batting. He will have an MRI on Wednesday.

--RF Ryan Ludwick's first-inning home run was estimated at 450 feet, the longest homer in the three-year history of Busch Stadium.

BY THE NUMBERS: 9 -- Consecutive victories by RHP Kyle Lohse after he won the Cardinals' first game after the All-Star break.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "It would be huge, assuming that they are able to come back at the level we're expecting." -- GM John Mozeliak, on the hoped-for return of ace RHPs Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright from injuries.

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