Cardinals Major League Notebook: 07/26/10

Felipe Lopez' home run in the 11th inning Sunday night helped the Cardinals escape Chicago with one shaky win in the three-game weekend series.



The Cardinals played shaky defense in the infield again, but they overcame that with an 11th-inning home run by third baseman Felipe Lopez and clutch pitching by left-hander Dennys Reyes, who fanned Kosuke Fukudome to end the game and record his first save of the season.

Despite losing two of three games in the series, the Cardinals reclaimed first place by 1/2 game over Cincinnati in the National League Central Division. The Cardinals and Reds have six games remaining -- three at Cincinnati next month and three in St. Louis in September.

"It was a great game to win, and if we'd lost that one, it would have been a tough one to take," manager Tony LaRussa said.

Right-hander Chris Carpenter, who allowed a run-scoring triple by Ryan Theriot in a two-run Chicago fifth after arguing with home-plate umpire Bob Davidson, righted himself to keep the game 3-3 after seven innings.

How badly did La Russa want this game? With a day off coming Monday, he used closer Ryan Franklin for two innings, covering 42 pitches. Franklin got his fifth win.

CARDINALS 4, CUBS 3 (11 INNINGS): 2B Skip Schumaker committed his 13th error of the season, but his game was a plus as he had four hits in four at-bats, driving in one run and scoring another. The infielders, who hadn't been hitting much, did most of the damage for the Cardinals. 3B Felipe Lopez hit the game-winning homer in the 11th inning. Schumaker had three singles and a double, and SS Brendan Ryan had two hits and knocked in a run. 1B Albert Pujols snapped a nothing-for-12 slide with a sixth-inning home run, his 23rd.


A club source said a deal between Houston and the Cardinals for RHP Roy Oswalt was unlikely because Houston would be reluctant to trade within the division and the expense would be too great for the Cardinals both in prospects and in Oswalt's $16 million contract for next year, with a like figure on an option for 2012. GM John Mozeliak said, "We're continuing to explore a number of things; it doesn't look great right now. Certainly, nothing is imminent at this time."

RHP Kyle Lohse, recovering from forearm surgery, will make a rehabilitation start for Class AAA Memphis on Monday night.

RHP Brad Penny (upper back, shoulder ailments) isn't throwing and doesn't appear close to returning to action.

The Cardinals have three starters in their rotation—LHP Jaime Garcia and RHPs Jeff Suppan and Blake Hawksworth—who have yet to pitch into the eighth inning this season. Pitching coach Dave Duncan, asked if that was a concern, said, "I'd have to say yes."

3B Felipe Lopez, who hit the game-winning homer on Sunday night, was back in the lineup after being scratched the day before by manager Tony La Russa for showing up late. Lopez had displayed some indifferent fielding in the first game of the series on Friday. Lopez, who had no comment on the matter Saturday, said on Sunday, "Some things are better off staying in (the clubhouse)."

CF Jon Jay made a second straight start in center for slumping Colby Rasmus, who is 1-for-25. Jay had his fourth two-hit game in his last five starts and is batting .387. Rasmus struck out as a late-game replacement.

By the Numbers:

15 - Number of extra-base hits for rookie OF Jon Jay out of 36 hits in his first 93 big-league at-bats.

Quote to Note:

"Everybody is looking for help. We're assuming we won't get any and we win with what we've got."

- Manager Tony La Russa, hoping a trade will be made but prepared for nothing to happen before July 31.




Medical Watch:

RF Ryan Ludwick (strained left calf) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 26. He began a rehab assignment with Class AAA Memphis on July 20, and he was activated July 24.

RF Nick Stavinoha (right shoulder strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 12.

RHP Adam Ottavino (right shoulder strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 4. He will not undergo surgery but is probably out for the year.

3B David Freese (bone bruise on right ankle) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 28. He also broke his left big toe in mid-July, but he still expects to begin a rehab assignment in late July.

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. Lohse threw a simulated game July 21, and he will begin a rehab assignment with Class AAA Memphis on July 26.

RHP Brad Penny (strained upper back) went on the 15-day disabled list May 22. He threw bullpen sessions June 28 and July 1 but had to cut short a bullpen session July 6 because of tightness in his triceps area. He underwent an MRI on July 7, which found nothing that hadn't been diagnosed before. He is out indefinitely.

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