Cardinals Major League Notebook: 08/12/09

Mitchell Boggs struggled in the early going as the visiting Reds defeated the Cardinals 5-4 Tuesday night at Busch Stadium to even the series at 1-1.



Rookie Mitchell Boggs got the start Tuesday in place of injured Todd Wellemeyer, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with right elbow inflammation.


After giving up four runs in the first two innings, Boggs managed to get through the next four innings in scoreless fashion. But does he get the start next week in Los Angeles when the fifth-starter spot rolls around again?


After the Cardinals' one-run loss to Cincinnati, manager Tony La Russa wasn't prepared to answer that.


"What does that have to do with happened in today's game?" he said. "That's not a question I can answer.


"I've never had success looking ahead. You say something stupid that you regret."


La Russa said Boggs "had a tough first inning (three runs) and then he did a good job of getting outs and doing things that pitchers have to do.


"I don't think he had a great outing, but it could have been disastrous. He gave up four runs in the first couple of innings. … I don't think that's what we look for, and I don't think he's happy with it. "


The Cardinals had 11 hits but scored only one run off Justin Lehr through six innings. Instead of faulting the hitters, La Russa praised Lehr.


"He made a lot of good pitches," La Russa said. "He didn't throw the ball down the middle."


Reds 5, Cardinals 4:   After some sloppy late-inning defense by the Reds enabled the Cardinals to creep back into the game, St. Louis had 1B Albert Pujols and LF Matt Holliday at the plate in the ninth inning, each as the potential winning run. But Reds RH reliever Francisco Cordero had the upper hand, getting Pujols to tap into a forceout and fanning Holliday with a pitch on the outside corner. "Hall of Fame pitches," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said.




• NBA star Shaquille O'Neal threw a strike Tuesday while delivering a ceremonial first pitch to 1B Albert Pujols. On Thursday, the two will appear in a "reality" television show in which O'Neal, with handicap, challenges Pujols to a home run derby. Cardinals officials could be pardoned if they hold their breath, hoping Pujols doesn't hurt himself, but manager Tony La Russa said, "Albert's a smart man. I trust his judgment to be careful and draw the line on what TV may ask him to do."


• The Cardinals lost Tuesday for the first time in RHP Mitchell Boggs' six starts. Manager Tony La Russa said Boggs didn't have much other than a fastball early in the game, although he gave credit to the rookie for righting himself after the first two innings, when he gave up four runs. "I've got to be better, no doubt about it," Boggs said. "I felt good later in the game, but I've got to feel good from the start."


• The Cardinals won Monday for only the second time in RHP Kyle Lohse's last 10 starts. If Lohse can recapture his 15-win form of last year, the Cardinals will have four solid starters and then must fill in the fifth spot for probably eight more times the rest of the season.


By The Numbers:   48-24—The Cardinals' record at Pittsburgh's PNC Park since it opened.


Quote To Note:   "He's a complete player and person."—Manager Tony La Russa on MVP candidate Albert Pujols, who also tended to a fan who fell over the rail chasing a foul ball at PNC Park on Friday night.




• C Yadier Molina was thrown out twice on the bases Tuesday by Reds LF Jonny Gomes. On the first, a fly to left, manager Tony La Russa thought it was good move by third base coach Jose Oquendo to send Molina home. On the second, after hitting a single toward the line in left, Molina broke for second—and was thrown out—even though first base coach Dave McKay was trying to hold him. La Russa said Molina thought McKay was saying, "Go, go," when La Russa said McKay was yelling, "No, no." La Russa decided a better idea in the future would be for the coach to shout, "Stay, stay," so there would be no confusion.


• RHP Jason Motte had another poor night Tuesday, walking two and allowing a run in one inning. Motte's ERA is 5.75, and he's given up 20 walks and 42 hits in 40 1/3 innings. "His confidence is down," manager Tony La Russa said. "We've got to him right."


• 3B Troy Glaus, out all season after having right shoulder surgery in January and then developing a bulging disk in his back, is taking some balls at third. For the first time, he was reporting no difficulty in throwing.

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