Cardinals Major League Notebook: 06/07/10

Jason Motte's stingy streak ended along with the Cardinals winning streak on Sunday night.

INSIDE PITCH

 

One day after it had been tallied up that reliever Jason Motte had retired 31 consecutive batters over 10 games, he extended that streak to 32 before allowing three straight Milwaukee Brewers to reach base in the 10th inning Sunday. A sacrifice fly by Corey Hart then sent Motte and the Cardinals to their second loss in six games on a home stand and cost them a chance to score their first series sweep in more than a month.

Manager Tony La Russa had talked of not wanting to use Motte after the latter had worked 1 2/3 innings on Saturday but when the game went into extra innings, he felt he had no choice.

"I didn't want to use (Kyle) McClellan, (Ryan) Franklin or Motte," La Russa said. "I wanted to win the game and have those guys ready for (Monday). But we had a chance to win it, so we did what we had to do.

"I wanted to score 10 runs and not have to use those guys. But that's not the way it worked."

McClellan, Franklin and Motte all pitched in Saturday's extra-inning game, too, so none of the three may be available Monday night in Los Angeles when third baseman David Freese, who pinch hit Sunday, will sit out with a sprained right ankle, and centerfielder Colby Rasmus is questionable because of a cramping in his left calf suffered Sunday.

Motte, who hadn't been scored on since giving up two homers to Houston May 11, suffered his second loss in four decisions. "It doesn't matter what you did yesterday or the day before," he said. "It what's you do today."

BREWERS 4, CARDINALS 3 (10 innings): LHP Jaime Garcia gave up just two earned runs in six innings, marking the 11th time in 11 starts he had given up two or fewer earned runs. But the Cardinals again didn't provide him any offense other than solo homers by CF Colby Rasmus and 1B Albert Pujols while Garcia was in the game. Garcia still is 5-2 despite a 1.47 earned run average.

NOTES AND QUOTES

1B Albert Pujols, after not hitting a home run in 93 at-bats at home before clouting one Saturday, needed to wait only five at-bats before hitting another on Sunday. For those worried about Pujols' power, his 14th home run and 44th run batted in put him in a tie for first place in the league in both categories.

3B David Freese is expected to miss several games after rolling his right ankle running the bases on Saturday. He is able to pinch hit, though, as he did on Sunday night.

RHP Blake Hawksworth, who has been a reliever since coming up from the minors last year, is slated to make his first major league start Monday at Los Angeles. Hawksworth, in one of his first big-league games last year, beat the Dodgers with three scoreless innings in a 15-inning victory.

CF Colby Rasmus finished off an 11-for-22 home stand, which included three homers and four hits in his last five at-bats against left-handed pitching, which mostly had defeated him in his first two big-league seasons.

OF Randy Winn contributed in only his second plate appearance for the Cardinals. Replacing Colby Rasmus, who suffered a left calf injury, Winn delivered a game-tying sacrifice fly in the eighth inning.

By the Numbers:

93-Number of at-bats between home runs at Busch Stadium for 1B Albert Pujols, who hit his second at home on June 5.

Quote to Note:

"He's facing a lot of lefthanders for the first time. In his career he'll be a tough out against lefthanded pitching."

-Manager Tony La Russa, on CF Colby Rasmus, who was starting to get hot against LHP after hitting under .170 against them for his career.

 

ROSTER REPORT

 

Medical Watch:

OF Colby Rasmus (sore left calf) suffered cramping during the June 6 game and is questionable for the June 7 contest. He may be given the day off to rest.

3B David Freese (sprained right ankle) left the June 5 game, and he is unlikely to start for a handful of games, though he can pinch hit.

SS Brendan Ryan (sore groin) did not play June 5. He started on June 6.

RHP Kyle Lohse (right forearm strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 23, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 5. He had surgery May 28 to alleviate muscle discomfort, and the timetable for his return was uncertain.

RHP Brad Penny (strained upper back) went on the 15-day disabled list May 22. As of June 5, it remained uncertain when he would be able to pitch off a mound.


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