First baseman Albert Pujols and
left fielder Matt Holliday showed why they are considered arguably the best 3-4
combination in any lineup Sunday night when they hit back-to-back, two-out
homers off of
But the game ended unhappily for
the Cardinals as they lost for the second time on their six-game trip as
suddenly struggling right-hander Kyle McClellan surrendered a long, game-ending
Home runs were the bugaboo of the
night for the Cardinals. Staff ace Chris Carpenter, who hadn't been happy with
his control late in spring training and had allowed two homers on over-the-plate
pitches in the season-opener at
The significance is that Carpenter already has given up nearly as many home runs (five) as he allowed all last season (seven).
McClellan, who excelled as a starter for much of spring training and then closed the spring with a four-strikeout, two-inning relief appearance after he had been moved back to the bullpen, now has given up three runs (two earned) in 1 2/3 innings, covering three outings. He has been scored on in every game he has pitched.
BREWERS 8, CARDINALS 7: The good
news for the Cardinals is that they won their first two series, both on the
road. The bad news is they lost the third game in each series, both on
ninth-inning home runs. After Albert Pujols hit a two-run homer in the ninth off
--CF Colby Rasmus, who had eight walks and two homers in the first five games, did not start against Milwaukee LHP Randy Wolf. "I'm seeing the ball good, but the swing doesn't feel right," said Rasmus, who popped up as a pinch hitter.
--OF Nick Stavinoha made his big-league catching debut -- a brief one -- in the bottom of the ninth. Yadier Molina was lifted from the game early when the Cardinals fell behind and manager Tony La Russa then pinch-hit for backup C Jason LaRue in the ninth. Stavinoha caught LHP Dennys Reyes' strike three to Brewers 1B Prince Fielder but not RHP Kyle McClellan's home-run toss to 3B Casey McGehee.
--INF Felipe Lopez started at his third different position -- third base, then shortstop and then second -- on Sunday and had two doubles. He had had just one hit previously in 11 at-bats.
--OF Ryan Ludwick's swing looks off. Ludwick is just 3-for-21 and appears to be lunging.
--1B Albert Pujols had been 0-for-6 against Milwaukee closer Trevor Hoffman before hitting his two-run homer in the ninth inning. Pujols already has had two multi-homer games this season.
BY THE NUMBERS: 12-0 -- RHP Chris Carpenter's record against National League Central Division teams over the last two seasons. He was taken off the hook Sunday night when he allowed seven runs in five innings only to have his team rally to tie the game in the ninth.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "That's always my goal -- to outlast the other starter." -- RHP Adam Wainwright, after working seven innings, one longer than Cincinnati RHP Johnny Cueto, in his first start of the season.