Cardinals Major League Notebook: 07/31/10

The Cardinals worked long and hard before eking out a 1-0 rain-delayed win over Pittsburgh Friday night at Busch Stadium.



The Cardinals had gone a major-league-leading 2,370 games without being shut out twice in a row before they were blanked last Thursday and Friday. It took them only five games before it almost happened again.

But Brendan Ryan's infield single scored Ryan Ludwick from third to push across the only run of the game in a 10-inning win Friday night as the Cardinals climbed back into first place in the National League Central Division.

For right-hander Chris Carpenter, it was business as usual. Carpenter, 11-1 against the Pirates, blanked Pittsburgh on five hits over eight innings after a 2 hour 20 minute rain delay.

Ludwick pinch-hit a double before Yadier Molina sacrificed him to third in the 10th. Ryan then skimmed a smash that Pirates second baseman Neil Walker couldn't make a play on.

The hit was Ryan's first in eight at-bats with a man at third and under two out this season."I wouldn't doubt it," he said. "There couldn't have been many."

Ryan, a .201 hitter before that at-bat and benched a couple of times this season, was happy to receive the opportunity to hit when he might have been pinch hit for.

"You look up at that batting average and that's not all that intimidating," he said. "I'm just trying to prove that first half was a fluke, that I can play like I did last year."

CARDINALS 1, PIRATES 0 (10 innings): PH Ryan Ludwick's leadoff double in the 10th, which was the only extra-base hit of the night, led to the only run of the game as the Cardinals jumped back ahead of Cincinnati into first place in the National League Central Division. Ludwick's run snapped a scoreless streak of 18 innings for the Cardinals.


Not very good on the road at 22-30, the Cardinals are one of the top teams in baseball at home. They are 35-16 in home games and have won nine of their last 10 at home.

How good has the pitching been in the Cardinals' four games with the Pirates (the Cardinals have won three)? Neither side has hit a home run.

The game was RHP Chris Carpenter's third consecutive game at Busch when he has gone eight innings and allowed one or no runs. In that span, Carpenter has permitted just two runs in 24 innings.

The Cardinals lost three outs on the bases to Pirates rookie C Erik Kratz. The last time that happened was April 4, 2003.

3B David Freese, out of action since June 27 with a bone bruise on his right ankle and then a cracked left big toe, said he was hopeful of beginning a rehab assignment at Class AAA Memphis either Sunday or Monday. Freese thought he was close to returning before but then suffered a couple of setbacks. "I'm just trying to make sure everything's good to go, this time around," said Freese. "I'm just excited to get down there."

Arizona State RHP Seth Blair, a supplemental first-round pick by the Cardinals in the June amateur draft, agreed to terms Friday and will be assigned to Batavia. Blair was 12-1 for Arizona State this season. Also, the Cardinals are said to be making progress toward a potential signing of supplemental pick Tyrell Jenkins, a Texas high school pitcher who has signed to play quarterback at Baylor. First-round pick Zach Cox, a third baseman from Arkansas, remains unsigned.

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 Nick Stavinoha (right shoulder strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 12. He began a rehab assignment on July 26.

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 or early August.

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 begin a rehab assignment with Class AAA Memphis on July 26 and could return to the Cardinals in August.

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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