The Cardinals Major League Notebook 05/30

Ryan Ludwick, who had been on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring, was back in the lineup Friday, but he went 0-for-3 and fanned on a high fastball with two on and nobody out in a key spot in the fourth inning of the Cardinals' loss at San Francisco.

On the other hand, Albert Pujols, with Ludwick behind him in the lineup again, had three good at-bats, singling twice and getting robbed of another hit.

But the Cardinals offense must get better somehow because the team's pitchers won't thrive forever the way they had the previous nine games, when they gave up only eight earned runs. Joel Pineiro, for instance, finished a personal 1-5 May by leaving too many balls up in the strike zone and being tagged for four runs in four innings Friday.

While the Cardinals have gone 7-3 in their last 10 games, the offense has scored only 33 runs for a 3.3 average.

Manager Tony La Russa, happy with Ludwick's performance, said, "I thought Ludwick had some really good swings. He didn't have any worse a day than the other guys."

Ludwick said his body felt good, although he acknowledged he had fouled off a couple of hittable pitches.

"Against a pitcher (Matt Cain) like that, if he makes a mistake, you've got to get it. I didn't," Ludwick said.

Giants 4, Cardinals 2: Having Thursday off on the road didn't seem to do the Cardinals much good, as they mustered just six singles against San Francisco RHP Matt Cain and three relievers Friday. One of the two runs the Cardinals scored came on a throwing error on a potential double-play ball.

Notes, Quotes

• The Cardinals bullpen, which has given up only one earned run in the last 20 1/3 innings, was strong again Friday. RHPs Kyle McClellan (two innings), Blaine Boyer and Chris Perez gave up just one hit over the final four innings.

• Only in the fourth and sixth did the Cardinals have multiple runners. They left the bases loaded in the fourth when 3B Joe Thurston grounded out. They got two runners home in the sixth, although Thurston, representing the tying run, fanned to end the inning.

By The Numbers: 11—Home runs the Cardinals had against left-handed pitching in the first 44 games of the season. They had 36 against right-handed pitchers.

Quote To Note: "Our starting pitching has been ridiculous. It really has."—2B Skip Schumaker after a five-game stretch in which Cardinals' starting pitchers allowed one run in 36 2/3 innings.

Roster Report

• The Cardinals made an expected move when they placed SS Khalil Greene on the disabled list Friday for an indefinitely period of time. Greene will continue to be treated for social anxiety disorder. "I think you have to look at it that way (open-ended) right now," general manager John Mozeliak said. "We'll monitor the situation on a week-to-week basis and should have a better idea by the time his stay on the DL is up."

• Manager Tony La Russa indicated OF Rick Ankiel, who has started just once since May 4, when he crashed into an outfield wall, will play Saturday against San Francisco LHP Barry Zito. Ankiel pinch-hit and fouled out Friday.

• RHP Joel Pineiro walked his first hitter in 35 innings when he passed Giants RF Randy Winn in the first inning. Winn came around to score the Giants' second run of the inning. Pineiro did not allow a home run for the fifth straight start, although he has won just one of those starts.

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