Cardinals Major League Notebook: 06/21/10

The Cardinals were unable to sweep Oakland despite four Matt Holliday home runs in three games.



Matt Holliday finished a monstrous weekend with eight hits in 12 at-bats, including four homers and eight runs batted in.

Oakland A's third-base coach Mike Gallego on former A's player Holliday, said, "I hate to say it, but I think the A's might have gotten him hot. He can go ahead and go off now. He's a professional hitter and it was only a matter of time."

Holliday, who had knocked in just 25 runs in the Cardinals' first 66 games and was hitting .189 with men in scoring position before the weekend, said,

"You feel more confident when you get results. It's a day-to-day battle. You keep grinding it out."

For the sixth time this season and second time in a week, the Cardinals failed to win the third game of a three-game series. They already had won their third interleague series. All have come by 2-1 margins over American League Western Division teams and all have come at home.

The Cardinals will finish up interleague play this week with road series at Toronto and Kansas City.

Right-hander Jeff Suppan, signed after Milwaukee released him, will make his third start for the Cardinals next weekend in Kansas City. On Sunday, Suppan gave up two runs in 4 2/3 innings, compared to one run in four innings in his first start for them against Seattle last Monday.

"There were a few times where I missed -- bad location, which was frustrating," Suppan said. "But I felt there was a lot of improvement."

A'S 3, CARDINALS 2: LF Matt Holliday had his third straight multi-hit game with a single and two homers but the Cardinals had only two other hits -- a single each by 3B Felipe Lopez and 1B Albert Pujols. They had only two at-bats with men in scoring position, failing on both occasions.



The Cardinals, who have a 23-12 home record, have won 10 of their first 12 series at home. The only glitches were a three-game sweep by Houston and a two-game split with Florida.

RHP Jeff Suppan had an interleague hitting streak snapped a seven games. Suppan got only one at-bat, striking out. The start was the 400th of Suppan's career. He has won 135 games.

C Yadier Molina, hitless in his last 19 at-bats, was given Sunday off. Molina hasn't homered since he hit two on the first trip of the season, meaning he has none at home.

The Cardinals will work with a four-man rotation until next weekend when they'll need a fifth starter to pitch a game at Kansas City. The most likely candidate is RHP Blake Hawksworth (1-4), who was the loser in relief on Sunday. Hawksworth had a four-inning start, giving up six runs, two weeks ago in Los Angeles.

Since being moved to the No. 2 spot in the batting order, LF Matt Hollilday has gone 10-for-23 with four homers and eight runs batted in. He is hitting .302 now and slugging .494.

By the Numbers:

22-Number of consecutive starts at home in which RHP Adam Wainwright has worked at least six innings and given up three or fewer runs, the longest streak by any pitcher in major-league history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Quote to Note:

"It was nice to see him come up and hit the ball like that. That's Matt Holliday. That's who we know."

-RHP Chris Carpenter, after struggling LF Matt Holliday had three hits and three runs batted in, including a line-drive 414 foot homer. Holliday then would get five more hits, including three home runs, in the next two games.




Medical Watch:

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. He planned to begin playing catch June 21.

RHP Brad Penny (strained upper back) went on the 15-day disabled list May 22. He tossed from a mound June 9 but did not throw on a downward plane. He might be out until the All-Star break.

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