Cardinals Major League Notebook: 06/25/10

The Cardinals failed in a three-game sweep attempt for the seventh time in seven tries this season as they fell in Toronto, 5-0 on Thursday night.



If ever the cards were right for the Cardinals to score their first three-game series sweep, it was Thursday. Ace Adam Wainwright, who had worked six innings or more in every start this season and had allowed more than three earned runs only once, was in position to lead St. Louis to a sweep in Toronto.

Two problems: Wainwright couldn't keep the ball in the park in the first three innings, allowing two homers good for three runs by Vernon Wells and a solo shot to Adam Lind. And the Cardinals offense disappeared, garnering only five hits.

For the seventh time, St. Louis won the first two games of a three-game series and lost the third.

Wainwright (10-5) allowed a season-high five runs, four earned, and six hits in four innings, his shortest start since Sept. 13, 2008.

"Just one of those days," manager Tony La Russa said. "It doesn't happen very often, but it happened today."

Wainwright said, "I don't make a habit of pitching games like that."

Wainwright hadn't given up three homers in a game since May 12, 2008, at Milwaukee.

With Wainwright out early and recently signed Jeff Suppan and reliever Blake Hawksworth slated to start the next two nights in Kansas City, the Cardinals might need some more bullpen help this weekend.

BLUE JAYS 5, CARDINALS 0: The Cardinals never were really in this one after RHP Adam Wainwright gave up three runs in the first inning on homers to CF Vernon Wells and DH Adam Lind. St. Louis manager just five hits off Brandon Morrow, who went eight innings, and none off Shawn Camp in the ninth.



LF Matt Holliday is 16-for-36 (.444) in nine games since being moved to the No. 2 spot. "He's a really, really, really good hitter, and nobody ever had a question that he was going to put it together," hitting coach Mark McGwire said.

RF Ryan Ludwick missed his second consecutive game with tightness in his left calf, but he should be ready for this weekend in Kansas City. Ludwick had appeared in the Cardinals' first 71 games this season.

Skip Schumaker served as the designated hitter for the first time as a Cardinal, giving little-used INF Aaron Miles a chance to play. Miles booted a grounder at second base and went 0-for-3.

RHP Fernando Salas hasn't pitched much since he came up from Class AAA Memphis, but the rookie has been effective. Two scoreless innings Thursday night gave him 4 1/3 scoreless innings over four outings.

The Cardinals have won all four of their interleague series heading into their last one of the year in Kansas City this weekend. But they will have only one of their three pitching aces available, LHP Jaime Garcia, on Sunday.

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, but that has been delayed indefinitely.

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 is unlikely to return before the All-Star break.

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