The Cardinals Major League Notebook 06/02

The fourth inning of Monday's game with Cincinnati might well have been a microcosm of the inconsistency shown by right-hander Todd Wellemeyer in an up-and-down 5-5 season.

After facing the minimum number of hitters in a hitless first three innings, Wellemeyer was tagged for three hits and three runs in the fourth before he gave up a fourth run the next inning.

"He made a bunch of good pitches but not enough of them," said manager Tony La Russa, "especially in that inning when they scored those (three) runs with two out."

Wellemeyer has only a 2-4 record with a 5.59 earned run average at home this season, and now he has lost for the first time this year with backup Jason LaRue as his catcher. That tandem had been 4-0, and the Cardinals had been 6-0 with LaRue starting.

As disappointing as Wellemeyer's outing might have been, there was a scare thrown into the Cardinals and Busch Stadium fans when first baseman Albert Pujols rolled his right ankle sliding into second on a first-inning double. Pujols said he couldn't feel his ankle for an instant but stayed in the game.

"What you worry about," said La Russa, "is once the adrenaline stops, how sore it is. There may be a little throbber tonight. We'll see."

Pujols said not to worry. "I'm very fine now," he said. "I promise you I'll be in the lineup (Tuesday)."

Reds 5, Cardinals 3: The Cardinals didn't have much balance in a seven-hit attack. Rookie CF Colby Rasmus had three of the hits—a double, homer and a single—and rookie 3B Joe Thurston had three others, including two doubles. After Cincinnati starter Edinson Volquez went out after one inning with numbness on two fingers of his pitching hand, the Cardinals could put together only two runs and five hits against five Cincinnati relievers.

Notes, Quotes

• 3B Troy Glaus, rehabbing his surgically repaired right shoulder in Arizona, is ready to begin throwing this week and hitting next week, and general manager John Mozeliak speculated that Glaus might be able to return to the club anywhere from July 15 to Aug. 1. But he said that no one could really count on that, so he said he would "ramp up" his efforts to acquire a right-handed batter who could play third base.

• The Cardinals have lost three of their first four games to Cincinnati this year. They are 17-14 in their own National League Central Division and 12-8 outside it.

• When right-handed-batting Nick Stavinoha played left field Sunday, it marked the first time the Cardinals had had two right-handed-batting outfielders in the lineup all season. Ryan Ludwick(notes) was in right field, and erstwhile 2B Skip Schumaker, a left-handed hitter, was in center while left-handed hitting outfielders Chris Duncan, Rick Ankiel and Colby Rasmus all sat against San Francisco LHP Jonathan Sanchez. All three left-handed batters came into the game later, but each went hitless in one at-bat.

• INF Joe Thurston, who had dropped way off after a good April, finished May strong by reaching base in nine of his final 19 plate appearances in the month. Thurston has played acceptable defense at both third base and second base. He started an outstanding double play at second on Sunday.

By The Numbers: 0—Inherited runners out of 11 that RHP Jason Motte had allowed to score through the first two months of the season.

Quote To Note: "It's something I've had to deal with. It's just become more pervasive this year."—SS Khalil Greene, discussing what the team is calling a "social anxiety disorder."

Roster Report

• RHP Brad Thompson, who is 3-0 in four previous starts against Cincinnati in his career, will make his first start this year for the Cardinals Tuesday against the Reds. Thompson hasn't pitched since May 17 but manager Tony La Russa said, "He's rested. He can throw a lot. It depends on how well he's throwing."

Thompson is taking the place of RHP Kyle Lohse, moved back another day because of stiffness in his right forearm.

• RHP Kyle Lohse had his next start pushed back another day because of stiffness in his right forearm.

• RHP Joel Pineiro won't pitch until at least Sunday after suffering some back spasms.

• 3B Joe Thurston had two doubles and a single, giving him eight hits in his last 17 at-bats, six of them for extra bases. With 17 extra-base hits, Thurston ranks third on the team behind 1B Albert Pujols and LF Chris Duncan.

• CF Colby Rasmus has seen nine of his last 12 hits be for extra bases. His three-hit game was just his second in the majors, but it came after he had sat out the two previous starts.

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