The Cardinals Major League Notebook 06/18

Although Todd Wellemeyer had thrown just 91 pitches and Detroit's Magglio Ordonez had reached base only because his high chop had squibbed away from Wellemeyer, Cardinals manager Tony La Russa figured it was time to bring hard-throwing Jason Motte into the game in the sixth inning Wednesday night for the first time in Motte's brief big-league career.

La Russa, explaining his move, said, "It was time. I thought Wellemeyer had about given us everything that he had. And at that point, you don't want him to be the losing pitcher." Wellemeyer wasn't the losing pitcher, as Motte fanned two hitters in the sixth, and Dennys Reyes, Kyle McClellan and Ryan Franklin took care of the last 11 outs.

Franklin, with a perfect ninth, earned his 16th save in 17 outings. La Russa, asked about a potential All-Star berth, said, "I'll guarantee you he'll get strong consideration."

Yadier Molina, who hadn't caught Wellemeyer for exactly a month -- backup catcher Jason LaRue had handled four of Wellemeyer's previous five wins -- guided Wellemeyer to win No. 6 and also stroked a home run among three hits.

Rookie Colby Rasmus also had three hits, including his first big-league triple.

"(Rasmus) is taking advantage of Albert (Pujols) hitting behind him," La Russa said. "He's got a good strike zone for a young hitter "

Wellemeyer allowed two home runs to the same left-handed hitter for the third game in a row. On Wednesday, it was Detroit CF Curtis Granderson. The New York Mets are next.


• Manager Tony La Russa, who will assist Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel for the July 14 All-Star Game in St. Louis, was chosen as an All-Star coach for the fourth time.

"Charlie's a longtime, real-time baseball man," La Russa said. "He's neat to be around." La Russa is 3-2 as an All-Star manager, winning all of his games as an American League skipper and losing twice as the National League manager.

• The Cardinals signed their second-, third- and fifth-round choices, USC C Robert Stock, California-Riverside RHP Joe Kelly and Miami SS Ryan Jackson, respectively. The fourth-round pick, RHP Scott Bittle, was in St. Louis to get his balky right shoulder looked at.

• RHP Brad Thompson will make the start Friday in Kansas City, and RHP Chris Carpenter will pitch Saturday, manager Tony La Russa said. Thompson, who came out of the bullpen to replace RHP Kyle Lohse, has made three starts—the last one an excellent one—and will continue to be in the rotation as long as he pitches well. That means even when Lohse comes back.

"We're looking at (Carlos) Beltran," said Wellemeyer of the next potential left-handed-hitting, two-homer man. "I'm really going to be studying Beltran. I've got to put a stop to this."

CARDINALS 4, TIGERS 3: Counting the three games they won in the 2006 World Series, the Cardinals now have beaten Detroit five times in a row at Busch Stadium. CF Colby Rasmus and C Yadier Molina each had three of the Cardinals' eight hits.

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