The Cardinals Major League Notebook

The earned-run average of Cardinals starting pitchers in May (6.61) had been more than twice what it was in April. And the Cardinals had compiled a 2-7 record this month, as compared to 14-2 in April. On Thursday night, St. Louis' starter failed to get out of the fifth inning.

But at least one thing can be said about rookie Mitchell Boggs(notes). In the four starts he has made since taking injured Chris Carpenter's turn, the Cardinals have won all four, even though Boggs has won just one.

"It says a lot," manager Tony La Russa said. "It's also kind of tough to relieve him twice in the fifth inning when he has a lead."

Boggs lasted only 4 1/3 innings for the second time in a week against the Pirates. But in a 5-1 Cardinals win, he had plenty of help from five relievers.

"I take a lot of pride (in the team's 4-0 record)," said Boggs. "I guess I'm the guy who stepped in when Carp went down. But sometime, I'd like to shorten the game for the bullpen. I think I can pitch—and will pitch—much better than I have in my last two outings."

Rookie center fielder Colby Rasmus, who had hit only one homer in the first 34 games, drilled a second-inning pitch from Jeff Karstens for a 458-foot homer that bounced into the Allegheny River behind the right-center-field seats.

Rasmus said, "It feels good. It's been awhile. I used to hit them a little more regularly than that."

Cardinals 5, Pirates 1: The Cardinals managed a 2-4 trip by winning the last game of three-game series in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. 1B Albert Pujols drove in two of the runs with a single through a drawn-in infield in the eighth. Reliever Trever Miller, the winning pitcher, got the biggest out of the game in the fifth, retiring Pittsburgh 1B Adam LaRoche on a foul fly with the bases loaded, one out and a two-run lead.

Notes, Quotes

• The Cardinals remained in a tie for first place with Milwaukee, Friday night's opponent, in the National League Central, by winning the last game of the Pittsburgh series. They also won the last game at Cincinnati.

"Getting the last one in both places makes the trip look a lot different," manager Tony La Russa said. The Cardinals begin a nine-game homestand against the Brewers, to be followed by the Cubs and Royals.

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