Cardinals Major League Notebook: 05/24/10

The Cardinals salvaged a home series win over the Angels Sunday on a Felipe Lopez walkoff single.



The Cardinals haven't been a great comeback team this year, but they overcame a 4-0 Los Angeles Angels lead built against ace right-hander Chris Carpenter and finally defeated a five-man infield and the Angels on Felipe Lopez's one-out single with the bases loaded in the 10th inning.

Lopez's fly ball went to the warning track in center, far beyond where any Angels outfielder was playing,

"They can have the whole team in the infield; I don't care," said Lopez, who came in as a pinch-hitter earlier in the game after making the first six starts on a seven-game home stand.

Though Albert Pujols went hitless in 10 at-bats in the series and hasn't knocked in a run in nine games, he stole his second and third bases of the season to set up the two tying runs for the Cardinals in the eighth. Pujols stole second with Matt Holliday at bat and the Cardinals down two runs. Then, after Colby Rasmus walked with two out, Pujols stole third and Rasmus followed suit by swiping second against Angels catcher Mike Napoli.

Rookie David Freese, probably the Cardinals' best player this season, delivered a two-run single that erased the deficit, scoring Pujols and Rasmus.

"That was Albert reading and making it happen," manager Tony La Russa said.

Freese, who is batting .386 with runners in scoring position, fouled off three pitches before his single as the Cardinals wore down righty Francisco Rodney. The hard-throwing Rodney was forced to throw 37 pitches in recording just two outs in the inning. The Cardinals, who have been jockeying with Cincinnati for the National League Central Division lead, moved back into first place by a half-game.

CARDINALS 6, ANGELS 5 (10 innings): Right-hander Chris Carpenter gave up two more home runs, raising his total to nine in 10 starts -- or three more homers than he allowed all last season -- but the Cardinals rallied from a four-run deficit and the bullpen worked four scoreless innings, with RHP Ryan Franklin gaining his third win to go with 10 saves.


RHP Kyle Lohse, who experienced right forearm discomfort on Saturday, similar to what derailed his 2009 season, will undergo a battery of tests Monday to determine what is causing the sensations and to determine if there is any structural damage to his arm. Lohse said there was cramping after he released a pitch.

RHP Adam Wainright and RHP Chris Carpenter will get three starts combined on the upcoming six-game trip to San Diego and Chicago, with Wainright taking two of them. Pending the outcome of RHP Kyle Lohse's medical tests, manager Tony La Russa hasn't finalized his rotation for the trip, but said LHP Jaime Garcia will pitch in San Diego on Wednesday, with RHP P.J. Walters, another rookie, likely to take the turn of injured RHP Brad Penny in San Diego on Thursday. Lohse's Saturday start in Chicago remains in jeopardy. The Cardinals could make a move to fill that potential opening, such as promoting RHP Adam Ottavino, a prospect at Memphis who is already on the 40-man roster.

1B Albert Pujols committed his first two errors of the season, oddly on back-to-back plays in the fifth. The former Gold Glove winner booted a grounder and then made a throwing error, hitting runner Erick Aybar in the back as Pujols tried to make a play at second.

LHP Denny Reyes, who twirled a scoreless seventh, worked his 20th scoreless outing out of 21. He hasn't allowed a hit in his last nine games, covering seven innings.

2B Skip Schumaker was returned to his customary leadoff spot and went 1-for-5. Schumaker, who had slumped to .219, hadn't led off for 10 days and had missed a couple of starts against left-handed pitching.

RHP Brad Penny, who left Friday's game with a strained upper back, went on the 15-day DL the next day. The injury isn't considered serious.

GM John Mozeliak said Penny might start throwing again in about a week.

RH reliever Blake Hawksworth, who missed the weekend series because of a groin ailment, is expected to be ready to pitch Tuesday when the Cardinals go to San Diego. If not, and if Lohe is sidelined, the club may have to go to 13 pitchers for a while.

By The Numbers:

1,045 - Number of consecutive starts, since May, 2003, in which 1B Albert Pujols had hit third before manager Tony La Russa moved him to fourth at the start of a home stand on May 17. Pujols returned to the No. 3 spot on May 22 after the Cardinals went 4-1.

Quote To Note:

"It's over. We said what we said. It's over."

-1B Albert Pujols, after a testy exchange with manager Tony La Russa when Pujols showed displeasure with a runner being thrown out trying to steal while he was at-bat.


Medical Watch:

RHP Kyle Lohse (right forearm cramp) left his May 22 start, and he is expected to undergo an MRI on May 24.

RHP Blake Hawksworth (right groin soreness) didn't pitch May 20-22. He is expected to be ready to pitch on May 25.

RHP Brad Penny (strained upper back) went on the 15-day disabled list May 22. He might resume throwing in late May.

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