The Cardinals Major League Notebook 08/27

Manager Tony La Russa insisted his club was not flat in a lopsided loss to Milwaukee in an important wild-card race game.

"Just not true," La Russa said. "We had good at-bats. I didn't see any flatness at all." But then La Russa admitted that a seven-run ninth inning didn't look all that good.

"That last inning was flat," he said. "'Flat' would be a compliment. That wasn't as good as flat."

The Cardinals stranded three runners in scoring position in the first four innings and six runners overall in that time against Milwaukee ace Ben Sheets, who had been 5-14 against them in his career. But they couldn't get a big hit, with .

Todd Wellemeyer allowed five runs in six innings. "He pitched a lot better than his numbers," La Russa said.

But the biggest numbers were 12-0 (the score). "Overall, they were better than we were," La Russa said.

BREWERS 12, CARDINALS 0: Milwaukee pounded out 16 hits in beating the Cardinals for the seventh consecutive time and 10th time in 14 meetings. The Cardinals had just two hits after the fourth inning, and they fell 4 1/2 games off the wild-card pace being set by the Brewers.


--1B Albert Pujols, who had had an eight-game hitting streak in which he was 18-for-32 (.563), was held hitless in three at-bats Tuesday.

--RHP Joel Pineiro, who was moved to the bullpen when RHP Adam Wainwright came off the disabled list, said he would return to the rotation Monday in Arizona.

--OF Brian Barton, who suffered a strained right oblique Sunday when he had three hits in his first start in two months, was placed on the 15-day disabled list. He was replaced by OF Nick Stavinoha, brought up from Class AAA Memphis.

--RHP Todd Wellemeyer, who had won his last three starts and last four decisions, lost for the first time in eight games Tuesday.

--The Cardinals have been shut out only three times, twice by the Brewers.

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