The Cardinals Major League Notebook 06/29

Despite a 3.44 earned run average, right-hander Joel Pineiro is tied for the major league in losses at nine. His ninth loss in 11 decisions—he started 4-0—came on Sunday, even though he allowed just three earned runs in 6 2/3 innings.

An error by shortstop Tyler Greene in the first inning preceded a single by Minnesota catcher Joe Mauer and a three-run homer by first baseman Justin Morneau. Mauer is 13-for-18 against Pineiro in his career and Morneau 6-for-14 with three homers.

"I know I hadn't thrown a long ball for a while," said Pineiro, whose third homer allowed for the season was his first in 62 innings since May 2. "It kind of gets me."

As to the hold Mauer and Morneau have had on him—Pineiro did get each to hit into a double play later on—Pineiro said, "You can't worry about the past or what they've done to you. You could have a guy who's 0-for-20 hit a home run off you.'

Cardinals' manager Tony La Russa, exasperated at times with Pineiro last year, knows he is seeing a different pitcher, even if the record doesn't confirm it.

"I like it that he doesn't get down on himself and continues to compete," said La Russa. "He'll reverse that."

Pineiro admitted, "It's tough. I'm not happy about it. But you keep your head up and you keep on doing it."

Pineiro has had a decision in all 15 of his starts, unlike last year when he was 7-7 in 25 starts. "Last year, I had nine straight no-decisions," he said. "This year, I'll take one."

Minnesota 6, Cardinals 2: Newly acquired INF-OF Mark DeRosa made his St. Louis debut in left field and batting fourth. He went hitless in three at-bats, walking once, and made a tumbling catch in left field to rob Minnesota 1B Justin Morneau in the eighth. The Cardinals, falling behind 3-0 in the first, tried to rally several times but never came closer than two runs.

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