The Cardinals' rotation has been unreliable lately. Todd Wellemeyer has an earned-run average of 5.50. Joel Pineiro has won just one of his last eight decisions after starting 4-0. Brad Thompson, who usually spends his time in the bullpen, if not Class AAA Memphis, has emerged as the third-best starter lately, though he has just one win.
Though Kyle Lohse, out with a strained forearm flexor, has begun to toss from 90 feet, don't look for him until another month from now.
Chris Carpenter has offered up quality outings every time he pitches. But Wainwright, Wellemeyer and Pineiro are the three pitchers who will face Detroit.
Notes, Quotes • The Cardinals have scored three or fewer runs in 21 of their last 31 games.
• The Cardinals are close to signing C Robert Stock, their No. 2 draft, whom they want to play at short-season Johnson City. Stock also pitched at USC and could return to the hill next spring if he doesn't progress as a catcher. He hit only .226 for the Trojans this year after averaging .299 last year.
• The Cardinals' only other interleague series on the road will come next weekend in Kansas City. The Cardinals blanked the Royals twice in beating them twice in three games last month in St. Louis.
—RHP Adam Wainwright, who, the last time he faced Detroit in St. Louis, closed out the Game 5 win to clinch the World Series title for the Cardinals in 2006, will pitch against Detroit ace RHP Justin Verlander in the opener of a three-game series at Busch Stadium on Tuesday.
• OF Rick Ankiel, who went 8-for-13 in the first three games of the six-game trip in Florida, finished the road swing going 1-for-11 with four strikeouts in Cleveland.
By The Numbers: 1—Blown saves by RHP Ryan Franklin in his first 16 save opportunities this season, through June 14.
Quote To Note: "There are possibilities here and three, but nothing compelling."—Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr., on the trade market.
• INF Khalil Greene, on the 15-day disabled list with "social anxiety disorder," has been returned to Class AAA Memphis on a medical rehabilitation option so that he could play third base, where the Cardinals have a severe need. "When he's ready to get here as a player, he'll be ready to play third base," said manager Tony La Russa. Greene played two games at shortstop last week at Memphis, going 4-for-8 and committing two errors. He then went 0-for-3 without an error at third on Sunday.
• SS Brendan Ryan appears to have satisfied the Cards' need at that position. That's why Khalil Greene will try to play third in the minors. Ryan is second on the club in batting at .298 and his fielding has been above average, sometimes spectacular.
• 1B Albert Pujols is the only Card hitting above .300 or with more than 31 runs batted in for the 64 games the team has played. The Cards led the majors in hitting and runs scored in April, but have faltered since.