The Cardinals Major League Notebook 06/04

Right-hander Kyle Lohse, unable to get out of his own way lately, got hurt again Wednesday night. The latest injury—actually an aggravation of one he already had—probably will send him to the disabled list for the first time in his nine-season career.

Lohse hasn't developed any arm problems from throwing a pitch, but he has been hit by pitches on the left and right arm, incurred back spasms while swinging a bat and injured his knee while covering first base. Then, on Wednesday night, after not pitching for 10 days, Lohse aggravated his right forearm when he dived for a third-inning bunt by Cincinnati's Johnny Cueto(notes). Lohse's forearm had been stiff since he was hit by a pitch May 23.

Lohse already had had trouble getting the ball down in the second inning when he gave up four hard-hit balls, including the first of two homers by Cincinnati's Laynce Nix. Then, after the dive opened the third inning, he threw four pitches without much steam to Jerry Hairston Jr. Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina motioned for manager Tony La Russa to come to the mound, and Lohse was removed.

"Very irritating," Lohse said of his season-long spate of injuries.

La Russa defended the Cardinals' decision to start Lohse in the first place, saying the pitcher had been cleared at 100 percent by the medical staff.

"Early, when he was having trouble getting the ball down, I asked him (about it)," La Russa said. "He said he was just rusty, but when he dove on that bunt play, he aggravated it. When he threw the ball to the plate (to Hairston), you could tell he wasn't the same."

Right-hander Brad Thompson, who made an effective, five-inning spot start on Tuesday, likely will take Lohse's next turn, Monday against Colorado.

Reds 9, Cardinals 3: The Cardinals lost for the fourth time in six games against Cincinnati this season, surrendering three homers in a game for the first time since May 10, when the Reds hit five against the Cardinals in Cincinnati. For the seventh time in their last 10 games, the Cardinals scored three or fewer runs.

Notes, Quotes

• The most stunning statistic of the Cardinals' lack of offense in the last month or so is that since May 9, when OF Ryan Ludwick homered in Cincinnati, the cleanup men haven't hit a home run, have driven in just four runs and have averaged only .097 (7-for-72). "We'll be all right," manager Tony La Russa said.

• RHP Blaine Boyer, pressed into service in the third inning Wednesday when RHP Kyle Lohse went out with a tight right forearm, worked five innings of relief, giving up just two runs (one earned). "He saved the bullpen and he gave us a chance to win," manager Tony La Russa said.

• RHP Brad Thompson has made 25 starts for the Cardinals, and they are 18-7 in them. He didn't get the decision Tuesday after allowing two runs in five innings.

Manager Tony La Russa said, "We don't win the game without him. He's very tough-minded, very competitive. His record as a starter gets your attention."

• 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; Mark DeRosa?, Garrett Atkins?, Ty Wigginton?, who could play third base.

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