Cardinals Major League Notebook: 06/03/10

Behind ace Chris Carpenter, the Cardinals won the final game and the series over Cincinnati on Wednesday, tying up the NL Central again.



If baseball teams win 60 percent of their games in a season, they are considered great clubs. Then, where does that leave Cardinals right-hander Chris Carpenter, who has won an astonishing 75 percent of his 100 decisions for the Cardinals since he first took the mound for them in 2004?

Carpenter raised his record against Cincinnati to 10-3 with a 4-1 triumph Wednesday night, as he pitched the Cardinals back into a first-place tie in the National League Central.

"He's one of the best pitchers around," Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker said. "He had good fortune, but he can pitch."

Baker was referring, in part, to Reds baserunner Scott Rolen being hit by a smash headed for right field in the seventh inning when the Reds had a run in and runners at first and third with nobody out. Carpenter (7-1) then retired the next two hitters.

"(Rolen being hit) was fortunate for us," Carpenter said, "but some things happen in this game like that."

The victory was the eighth in a row by Carpenter over the Reds, including three this year, but Baker reminded, "He's just not beating us. He's dominating everybody. He plays us more than he plays anybody in the division."

CARDINALS 4, REDS 1: LF Matt Holliday homered and walked twice as he extended his hitting streak to seven games at 13-for-25 (.520). RHP Kyle McClellan, giving closer Ryan Franklin a night off, retired the side in order in the ninth for his first save of the season.



INF Felipe Lopez sat out Wednesday's game after being hit on the thumb of his bare hand by a bad-bounce grounder Tuesday. Lopez said he should be all right to play Friday when the Cardinals meet Milwaukee. In the meantime, SS Brendan Ryan tripled and doubled and excelled in the field as he replaced Lopez. The Cardinals have won each of Ryan's last four starts.

RHP Brad Penny, on the 15-day disabled list since May 22 with an upper back strain, is playing light catch but won't begin a throwing program until the end of this week or the start of next week. Manager Tony La Russa said he still hoped Penny could pitch sometime this month.

RHP Adam Ottavino has been nominated to pitch Saturday's second game of the Milwaukee series. Ottavino worked 5 2/3 reasonably good innings, though he lost, in his major league debut last Saturday in Chicago.

1B Albert Pujols singled to give him 3,342 total bases, tying Rogers Hornsby for third place on the Cardinals' all-time list behind Stan Musial and Lou Brock. Pujols won't catch Musial for a while, if ever. The Man had 6,134 total bases. Brock had 3,776.

CF Colby Rasmus had three hits Tuesday in his first game since he went to the eye doctor at the urging of his father, Tony, a former pro player and Colby's high school coach in Alabama. Colby Rasmus, who had fanned 14 times in seven starts in one recent stretch, was fitted for a new set of contact lenses, with his right eye particularly having been weak before. I'm not trying to say that's the reason and to make excuses," said Rasmus, who went 0-for-4 Wednesday. "I was missing a lot of pitches. I was seeing the pitches well, checking them, but I started having trouble seeing the spin. I didn't make much of it. I thought maybe it was my allergies messing up my contacts."

By the Numbers:

34-Consecutive games (he played every inning) before rookie 3B David Freese was rested May 28.

Quote to Note:

"That's why those guys scout and I'm playing."

-1B Albert Pujols, referring to those baseball people who had sounded off on what had happened to Pujols' extra-base pop. Pujols hit three homers in a game for the fourth time in his career May 30.




Medical Watch:


SS Felipe Lopez (swollen right thumb) left the June 1 game. He did not play June 2, but he should return to action June 4.

RHP Kyle Lohse (right forearm strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 23. He had surgery May 28 to alleviate muscle discomfort, and the timetable for his return is uncertain.

RHP Brad Penny (strained upper back) went on the 15-day disabled list May 22. He might return mid June.

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