The Cardinals Major League Notebook 08/18

It could be a cause for concern, perhaps, that right-hander Kyle Lohse has lost three straight decisions and four of his last five although Lohse gave up only three runs in six innings Sunday in Cincinnati.

But, with four off days coming up during the Cardinals' upcoming seven-day home stand, all the starting pitchers will get a little extra rest and perhaps that will be good for Lohse, who has worked a staff-high 162 innings.

The Cardinals had very few chances against right-hander Edinson Volquez, the Reds' starter. Left fielder Rick Ankiel and third baseman Troy Glaus both struck out with two runners on in the fifth. Then, first baseman Albert Pujols tapped into a fielder's choice and Ankiel fanned for the second time with two runners on against right-hander Francisco Cordero in the ninth.

Volquez allowed only three hits and no runs in seven innings and was involved in a beanball incident with Lohse. Each threw high and tight and later, after a warning had been issued by home-plate umpire Greg Gibson, Volquez hit Cardinals utility infielder Felipe Lopez in the back.

Manager Tony La Russa said, "I have no comment about anything (Volquez) he did or the way he pitched."

Of Volquez's pitch to him, Lohse said, "That's the way it is."

Of his pitch to Volquez, Lohse said, "I wasn't throwing at him. But it was the same spot."

Despite Sunday's loss, the Cardinals completed a 6-4 trip and won five of their last seven after dropping the first series on the trip at Chicago.

Down the stretch, the Cardinals have 20 home games remaining and 15 on the road. Two of the home games will be against Milwaukee and three against Chicago.

REDS 7, CARDINALS 3: RHP Kyle Lohse allowed four hits, a couple of the scratch variety, in the first inning Sunday and the Cincinnati Reds jumped to a 2-0 lead they didn't relinquish. Hot-hitting RF Ryan Ludwick had two hits and drove in a run for the Cardinals.


--RHP Adam Wainwright threw 64 pitches in working 4 2/3 scoreless innings in a rehabilitation start for Class AA Springfield Saturday night. Wainwright experienced no discomfort with the sprained middle finger on his right hand and it is expected that Wainwright will be taken off the disabled list by next weekend.

--The Cardinals' bullpen hadn't been scored on its last 10 innings before LHP Jaime Garcia was touched for a three-run homer by Reds 2B Brandon Phillips in the seventh inning.

--2B Adam Kennedy made his first start in four games and had one hit, a single.

--1B Albert Pujols, amid suspicion his right elbow was bothering him, besides his lingering leg injuries, said after Saturday's game, "I wouldn't be playing if something was bothering me. I'm hitting .350. We're winning. I don't see the problem. I'm telling you I'm fine."

--The Cardinals have six games remaining yet with the Reds, including the final three of the season in St. Louis.

BY THE NUMBERS: 17 -- Number of Cardinals, including current outfielder Ryan Ludwick, who have hit 30 or more homers in a season for the Cardinals.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We want to get him right. You don't want to rush something and have him have a problem again." -- Pitching coach Dave Duncan, on the Cardinals' decision to put RHP Chris Carpenter back on the disabled list, this time with a shoulder strain.

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