The Cardinals Major League Notebook 08/08

The Cardinals had six previous occasions in which they had taken the first two games of a three-game series. They had won the third game only once -- in their first crack at a series sweep when they took three games from Washington in St. Louis on the first weekend of the season.

With ace Kyle Lohse on the mound, the Cardinals felt they had a shot at a second three-game sweep Thursday, but they ran into hot Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw, who held them to three singles over seven innings. The Cardinals had only two runners in scoring position against Kershaw, who won his second game.

"We took a shot today," manager Tony La Russa said. "We just ran into a very good pitcher."

La Russa likes for his pitchers to come at big hitters on the other team, and, for the second time in the series, Los Angeles' Manny Ramirez hurt them. Ramirez's two-run homer off Lohse (13-4) in the third inning was the difference.

Lohse has lost two of his last three starts and dropped his first at home since May 3 against the Chicago Cubs. "If you could take back two pitches -- which I can't -- it would have completely changed the outing," Lohse said.

Lohse referred to Ramirez's homer and a missed location on a run-scoring triple by Juan Pierre in the fourth.

The Cardinals face a trip of 10 games in 10 days to Chicago, Florida (the teams' first meeting of the season) and Cincinnati.

DODGERS 4, CARDINALS 1: The Cardinals were ineffective against Los Angeles rookie Clayton Kershaw for the second time this season. Kershaw, who held them to two runs in six innings in his first big-league start, stopped them on one run and three hits for seven innings Thursday. Cesar Izturis had two of the four St. Louis hits, all of which were singles, with only three leaving the infield.


--RHP Adam Wainwright, out since June 7 with a ruptured pulley in his right middle finger, finally will begin his rehabilitation Friday at Class AAA Memphis. But his rehab will be tailored for relief pitching, suggesting Wainwright, the Cardinals' No. 1 starter entering the season, might come back as a closer for the Cardinals' embattled bullpen.

"It's not set," general manager John Mozeliak said. "There's a chance before he comes back that we have a solution and it's not a need. Then he'll come back as a starter. We want to be prepared. Right now, everything is on the table."

--RHP Jason Isringhausen thrived with no save situation at stake, fanning the side in the ninth after making a nifty grab of a hard grounder by Dodgers LF Manny Ramirez and starting a double play the inning before.

--RF Ryan Ludwick extended his hitting streak to 10 games (19-for-40, .475). However, he didn't homer after going deep in each of his previous five games, which tied a single-season franchise record.

--The Cardinals have lost seven of their last 10 home games.

--The Cardinals have won eight of 10 meetings with Los Angeles at Busch Stadium, even with Thursday's loss.

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