The Cardinals Major League Notebook 09/25

Adam Wainwright helped cement that the Cardinals would be a winning team when he labored through six innings Wednesday, giving up only two runs, to post his sixth consecutive win in his last start of the season.

Wainwright, who missed 2 1/2 months with a sprained middle finger on his right hand, finished 11-3, and the Cardinals are 82-76 with four games left.

The victory was St. Louis' second straight but just its fourth in the last 14 games. Manager Tony La Russa admitted, "With the kind of September we were having, I was really worried that we'd get to the finish line under .500. And that would really be one of the most unfair outcomes."

The Diamondbacks touched Wainwright for seven hits, and Wainwright added five walks and a hit batsman to the equation. But the right-hander managed to force Arizona to leave the bases loaded in both the fifth and sixth innings before he left.

"It was a curious game for him," La Russa said. "He threw a lot of pitches (105, only 54 for strikes). But he never collapsed."

The Cardinals played with a lineup that had hit a total of 19 homers for the team this season, with La Russa resting much of his top talent, including 94 home runs in Albert Pujols, Ryan Ludwick and Troy Glaus. This lineup failed to get an extra-base hit but managed just enough offense with eight singles and three walks.

La Russa said, "One of the guys was kidding that the only way you can play that lineup is if you've got a guaranteed contract for next year. I knew that everybody who went to bat would take those at-bats like it was the seventh game of the World Series. The three guys we rested were on fumes.

"We've lost a lot of games with those guys. Run them into the ground, you're going to keep losing more."

CARDINALS 4, DIAMONDBACKS 2: Four Cardinals relievers stopped Arizona on one hit over the last three innings as St. Louis pushed Arizona to the brink of elimination in the National League West race. Two of the Cardinals' four runs were unearned.

NOTES AND QUOTES:

--The Cardinals, who already had 10 players out for the season, now will be without LHP Randy Flores for the rest of the 2008 campaign that will end Sunday. Flores will have arthroscopic surgery Thursday on his left shoulder, to be performed by George Paletta, the team's head physician.

--RHP Chris Carpenter, who has had nerve issues in his right shoulder area and neck, saw a thoracic specialist Wednesday and then said after the game that he planned to get more opinions from doctors out of town before a decision on a course of action is made.

Carpenter said that with the various doctors who had seen him "there was a difference of opinion on treatment -- how to take care of the issue.

So, basically what we're going to do is get more opinions and see if there is anybody out there who has more idea on what's going on in there and how to take care of it. It's a frustrating process. It's disappointing, and hopefully we can figure what's going on and take care of it."

--Manager Tony La Russa said that 3B Troy Glaus, 1B Albert Pujols and OF Ryan Ludwick all would start the remaining four games of the season after opening Wednesday's game on the bench.

--INF Felipe Lopez had his seven-game hitting streak stopped as he fanned three times. Lopez had been 13-for-29 (.448) in the streak.

--RHP Ryan Franklin, who recorded his 17th save, has eight consecutive scoreless outings covering 10 innings.


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