It had been two months and two days since Ryan Franklin had allowed an earned run. But when he did, in the ninth inning Wednesday, he allowed two runs, and the Cardinals found themselves swept on the road for the first time this season.
Chris Carpenter worked eight
strong innings, and third base coach Jose Oquendo gambled twice successfully in
the Cardinals' two-run seventh inning. But
The biggest problem in the Astros'
ninth was that
"That was a mistake,"
The loss was
"That's the tough thing about this job. You know you're not going to be perfect," he said. "If you give up runs, you're going to lose.
"It kind of (stinks) more because we just lost two in a row. But we play them again (next weekend). I'll do better the next time."
On the plus side for the Cardinals
is that they have another ace, Adam Wainwright, ready for Thursday night's
makeup game at
ASTROS 4, CARDINALS 3: The
Cardinals lost a game when leading after eight innings for just the second time
in 50 games Wednesday. SS Miguel Tejada capped
• OF Chris Duncan, mired in a
1-for-31 slump, was traded to
"The way I look at it is he was traded for a player who had very little (leverage)," Dave Duncan said. "He was designated for assignment. It's highly unusual for a major league roster player to be traded for somebody like that. So somebody wanted to get him out of the organization, and they've accomplished what they wanted to accomplish.
"Either that or we don't have
anybody in the minor leagues that they wanted for (
• C Jason LaRue, who had success in handling erratic RHP Todd Wellemeyer earlier in the season, was catching again Tuesday, but his presence didn't seem to make much difference. Wellemeyer hasn't made it past the fifth inning in his last two starts and three of the last four.
• The Cardinals defense, generally sharp lately, committed three errors Tuesday, two of them were by pitchers.
By The Numbers: 32—Career pickoffs for C Yadier Molina, through July 19.
Quote to Note: "As long as I can go out there and not think about it, I should be fine. I want to get to the point where the wrist does not consume my every thought at the plate."—INF/OF Mark DeRosa, returning to action after being disabled with a torn tendon sheath in his left wrist.
• OF Colby Rasmus ended an 0-for-13 slide with a fourth-inning single Wednesday. But he failed to bunt 2B Skip Schumaker to third after the latter doubled to open the sixth. Rasmus' bunt didn't make it out of the dirt in front of the plate, and Schumaker was gunned down at third, even though it appeared he was safe. "Colby's a better bunter than that," manager Tony La Russa said. "He can't leave it there."
• OF Rick Ankiel, who had been
2-for-32 entering the
• 1B Albert Pujols, swinging at
pitches earlier in the count than usual, was held to two singles in 11 at-bats
• 3B Mark DeRosa finished the