The Cardinals Major League Notebook 08/21

The Cardinals rotation took on a new look with the announcement that Adam Wainwright will be taken off the 15-day disabled list to face Atlanta at home on Friday night.

Wainwright, who had been out since June 7 with a sprained right middle finger, had made it clear to manager Tony La Russa that he wanted to come back as a starter and not as a reliever, as had been considered.

La Russa, convinced that Wainwright was close to 100 percent, will put him in the rotation and said Wainwright "would pitch two or three times regularly" before a further determination is made.

Meanwhile, Todd Wellemeyer continued to make the most of his first full season as a big-league starter, raising his record to 11-4 by beating Pittsburgh on Wednesday. It was not Wellemeyer's best outing, however. The Pirates forced Wellemeyer to use 95 pitches in five innings, but he hasn't given up more than three runs in any of his last six starts.

When catcher Yadier Molina became a late scratch with a bruised left foot, backup Jason LaRue stepped in to smack his fourth homer and a double. LaRue drove in three runs.

"He had a nice day. Understatement," La Russa said.

The Cardinals won for just the fourth time in their last 12 home games. They are 11-15 at home since starting out 23-14.

"There's no reason for it," La Russa said. "It's the same club that's playing well on the road."

But on Wednesday, the Cardinals had 13 hits, five walks and a hit batter. They were 4-for-9 with men in scoring position.

"A lot of good at-bats up and down the lineup," La Russa said. "A lot of clutch hitting."

Center fielder Skip Schumaker is certainly getting good at-bats, as his batting average keeps moving steadily above .300. Schumaker, the leadoff man, had three hits, scored three runs and drew a walk. Hitting safely in seven consecutive games (14-for-30, .467), Schumaker has raised his average to .310.

CARDINALS 11, PIRATES 2: RHP Todd Wellemeyer gained his fourth straight win, allowing two runs on five hits over five innings, as the Cardinals earned a split in the two-game series. Rick Ankiel hit his 24th homer and Jason LaRue his fourth overall and first at home.

NOTES AND QUOTES

--Manager Tony La Russa said that RHP Joel Pineiro, who was to have started Friday, will back up RHP Adam Wainwright, who is targeted to go as high as 80 pitches.

--RHP Kyle Lohse, suspended for five games and fined $2,000 for throwing near the head of Cincinnati RHP Edinson Volquez last Sunday, will appeal the decision. Manager Tony La Russa said he was "shocked" that Lohse would be suspended when he wasn't ejected.

--RHP Jason Isringhausen, no doubt out for the year with a torn tendon near his right elbow, was not at Busch Stadium again. "This is not doomsday. I encouraged him to get the thing fixed and plan on pitching next year," manager Tony La Russa said.

--RHP Chris Carpenter, on the disabled list with a sprained right shoulder, played catch for a second straight day, but manager Tony La Russa tried to downplay an immediate return for the longtime staff ace.

"He's playing catch," La Russa said. "That's not too strenuous. We'll have to wait till he pushes it the next time out."

--C Yadier Molina was a late scratch because of a left foot contusion. Molina will get an extra day of rest Thursday, which is a day off for the Cardinals.

--RHP Mike Parisi, who was with the Cardinals on a couple of occasions during the season but was on the Class AAA Memphis roster for most of the season, underwent Tommy John elbow surgery in New York. He is expected to miss most of next season.

BY THE NUMBERS: 17 -- Players, including OF 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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