The Cardinals Major League Notebook 05/13

The Cardinals, who already had dropped five of their last eight games, lost twice Tuesday. Not only did the Cardinals fall to the Pirates, but they also probably lost cleanup hitter and right fielder Ryan Ludwick to the disabled list.

Ludwick strained his right hamstring while chasing Nyjer Morgan's(notes) flyball that went for a two-run triple in the second inning.

Manager Tony La Russa called general manager John Mozeliak, who was in Memphis, to report the news and perhaps seek another outfielder for immediate use. Center fielder Rick Ankiel already is on the disabled list with assorted bruises after banging into a wall last week.

La Russa said, "Barry (Weinberg, head athletic trainer) says there's a real sore spot there, so I wouldn't anticipate the news being too good.

"We're running a little dry out there … but there's always players. We'll put a lineup on the field tomorrow. But he's a really important guy."

Ludwick, not believing the injury to be that serious, said, "It just kind of locked up on me. It could be worse."

Pirates 7, Cardinals 1: Albert Pujols got the Cardinals off to a good start with his 13th homer of the season and 21st of his career at Pittsburgh's PNC Park, the most by a visiting player. But that was where they the Cardinals finished. They failed to score in the ninth inning when they had the bases loaded and nobody out, and they were never in the game after the fifth inning, when RHP Todd Wellemeyer (3-3) gave up two home runs.

Notes, Quotes

• 1B Albert Pujols has 38 homers against Pittsburgh in his career, including 21 at PNC Park, where he is hitting .383 with 58 RBIs in 63 games. But manager Tony La Russa said that too much is being made of that.

"That story has already been told—that he hits Pittsburgh well," he said. "I don't agree with it. You're putting a target on somebody's back—if somebody's gutless enough to take that shot.

"It just raises the red cape. That's stupid. It's unnecessary for the entertainment value at the ballpark."

• Rookie 3B Tyler Greene went 1-for-4 Tuesday but struck out with the bases loaded and nobody out in the ninth inning as the Cardinals missed a chance to cut into the Pirates' lead.

• RHP Todd Wellemeyer had given up only two homers in his first 40 innings, but he served home runs in the fifth inning Tuesday to Pirates 1B Adam LaRoche(notes) and RF Brandon Moss.

• RHP Ryan Franklin suffered his first blown save of the season in his 10th save opportunity Sunday when he surrendered solo homers to SS Jerry Hairston Jr.(notes) and PH Micah Owings(notes) in the ninth inning at Cincinnati. Franklin hadn't been scored on in his first 13 outings. "I made two mistakes. In this ball park, you can't make too many mistakes," said Franklin.

Roster Report

• RHP Chris Carpenter threw well and without pain Tuesday in a bullpen session in Pittsburgh, and Carpenter is scheduled to throw a simulated game Friday. Pitching coach Dave Duncan said that if the next session goes well, Carpenter, recovering from a torn left oblique muscle, might be able to pitch before the Cardinals' next homestand is over May 24.

"I didn't have any (bad) feelings or anything like that," Carpenter said. "I let the ball go pretty good."

• INF Brendan Ryan, healing from a strained left hamstring, began his rehabilitation option Tuesday with Class AAA Memphis, going 0-for-3. But manager Tony La Russa suggested that Ryan wouldn't necessarily be coming back this weekend when his 15 days on the disabled list are up.

"I think he needs to make sure he's playing well," La Russa said. "He's still a young player, and he wasn't playing a lot here. So let him play some."

• CF Rick Ankiel, who suffered various bruises when he crashed into the wall last week, was feeling better, according to reports from the Cardinals' spring training camp in Jupiter, Fla. It is uncertain when Ankiel could return, but manager Tony La Russa said, "We were all thinking that at the end of 15 days, he'd be back, especially if he can get some swings ahead of time."

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