The Cardinals Major League Notebook 08/06

Chris Carpenter, looking like the ace St. Louis fans had been accustomed to seeing from 2004-06, sailed through five innings, giving up only three hits and no runs while throwing just 51 pitches Tuesday.

Carpenter was stopped not by the Los Angeles Dodgers but the rain, as he was pulled following a 22-minute delay.

"I don't know if he can repeat that the rest of the year, but that was vintage," manager Tony La Russa said.

Carpenter was making his second start after coming off the disabled list. He had been sidelined since his Opening Day start April 1, 2007, by an elbow problem that required Tommy John surgery.

But much more happened in this game after Carpenter left. First, there was another rain delay, this one of 43 minutes. Then there was a four-run meltdown by the Cardinals bullpen in the ninth inning. Ron Villone allowed a rare homer (this season) to Los Angeles' Andruw Jones, and Jason Isringhausen, restored as closer, allowed four hits, one an infield tap by James Loney that Isringhausen fumbled.

Ryan Franklin worked out of most of Isringhausen's mess, although the tying run scored. But red-hot Ryan Ludwick cracked his fifth home run in the last four games to win the game in the 11th.

As for Isringhausen, his hold on the closer's role may be tenuous. "One bad break on a little roller ... would have been two outs," La Russa said. "But there's no doubt they got some base hits before and after that. Don't know. Got to think about it. I guarantee you there's nobody more disappointed than Izzy right now. There's no advantage by piling on."

CARDINALS 6, DODGERS 4 (11 innings): The Cardinals nearly lost a 13th game when leading after seven innings. But after surrendering four runs in the ninth to allow the Dodgers to tie the score at 4, Ryan Ludwick got his first hit in six at-bats, a two-run homer, to win the game. Ludwick has an eight-game hitting streak in which he has batted .469 with five homers.


--INF Felipe Lopez, 28, who had been released by Washington, signed with St. Louis. Lopez, who hit .234 with two homers for the Nationals, will replace rookie INF Brendan Ryan, who will be sent back to Class AAA Memphis.

--1B Albert Pujols ended an 0-for-13 streak, which had tied his season worst, when he singled in the first inning. Pujols then cracked his 22nd homer, a 433-foot, two-run drive, in the seventh off RHP Chan Ho Park. It was Pujols' first homer at Busch Stadium since July 4.

--RHP Adam Wainwright, who hasn't opposed hitters from any team since he suffered a middle finger sprain June 7 in Houston, faced teammates Nick Stavinoha and Rick Ankiel, who hit a long home run off one Wainwright pitch, in a simulated-game session. Wainwright is expected to make a minor league rehab appearance this weekend.

"My slider was really bad," he said. "I've got some work to do mechanically. First time I was facing hitters, I was flying open (with the delivery) really bad."

But, Wainwright said, "My arm felt good and my finger felt great."

--OF Rick Ankiel remained out of in the starting lineup. Ankiel, who hasn't started since July 26 because of an abdominal strain, doesn't seem to be showing much improvement, although he pinch-hit for a fourth time and was hit by a pitch, forcing in run.

--LF Chris Duncan was in the clubhouse just a day after having surgery on a herniated disk in his neck. Duncan's estimated rehabilitation time will be three to four months.

--LHP Jaime Garcia, who had suffered his first big-league loss in a relief role Sunday, gained his first big-league win with a scoreless 11th.

BY THE NUMBERS: 3 -- Starts out of 18 won by RHP Joel Pineiro, through Aug. 3.

The Cardinal Nation Top Stories