Cardinals Major League Notebook: 08/02/10

The Cardinals finished a weekend sweep over the visiting Pirates on Sunday behind Adam Wainwright and an improved offense.



Home certainly is where right-hander Adam Wainwright's heart is. Wainwright, holding Pittsburgh to one run in seven innings Sunday, is 11-0 at home this season with a 1.23 ERA. He is 4-6 on the road.

"I feel exactly the same on the road as I do at home," Wainwright said. But he added, "There's definitely something to be said for pitching in front of the home crowd."

Wainwright, who gave up four hits over the first two innings, gave up only two hits in his last five innings. He extended his major-league record streak to 27 games in which he has pitched at least six innings and given up three runs or fewer.

"He was outstanding," said manager Tony La Russa. "Because he is outstanding."

The Cardinals got home runs in the same game for just the third time from Albert Pujols (No. 25) and Matt Holliday (No. 20). But they also showed speed in a five-run fifth inning. Colby Rasmus hustled a single into a double; Brendan Ryan, who had three hits, beat out a bunt and then aggressively went from first to third on a single; Jon Jay beat out an infield hit.

"These guys have good legs," said La Russa. "It's another dimension."

CARDINALS 9, PITTSBURGH 1: For the first time this season, the Cardinals swept a three-game series. They had swept two four-game series and one two-game set. They pounded out 14 or more hits for the second game in a row as they beat Pittsburgh for the fifth time in six meetings. The Cardinals outscored Pittsburgh 21-2 in the series.


To make room on the roster for RHP Jake Westbrook, who will pitch on Monday, the Cardinals intended to option SS Tyler Greene to Class AAA Memphis. But they wound up putting him on the disabled list when, manager Tony La Russa said, Greene's agent notified GM John Mozeliak that Greene's right hand, struck by a pitch on July 17, still was bothering him.

"That was upsetting," La Russa said of the Cardinals having to reverse field. "I had actually told him last night that there was a chance he would play (Sunday)."

La Russa said Greene, hitting .265, hadn't wanted to make a big deal of his injury with the trainers "because he didn't want to get sent down. That's not really fair. If you're hurt, you're hurt. It's not his fault."

The Cardinals are 37-16 at home and only 22-30 on the road. "The road record is misleading," said La Russa. "There's no reason we can't play really well everywhere. But we like playing at home."

1B Albert Pujols' 25th homer of the season was No. 391 of his career, moving him into 51st place all time and eighth among active players, one ahead of former teammate Jim Edmonds.

Sunday marked the third time that Pujols and LF Matt Holliday (No. 20) homered in the same game this year, but only the first time at Busch Stadium. The expectations are that there is a time coming when both will be hot at the same time.

SS Brendan Ryan, who has reclaimed his starting job again, has had six multi-hit games in the last seven games (13-for-25), and he's provided energy besides production.

INF Aaron Miles, who well may survive the roster permutations the rest of the season, had three RBIs on Sunday. That was his best since he had four on July 20, 2008, in his previous tour with the Cardinals.

By the Numbers:

24 - A number that won't be worn again by a Cardinal. It was retired Saturday in honor of Hall of Fame manager Whitey Herzog.

Quote to Note:

"The fact is, if we didn't change the current dynamics of this club right now, I couldn't envision us winning."

- GM John Mozeliak, on moving RF Ryan Ludwick in a three-team deal which brought RHP Jake Westbrook to St. Louis.




Medical Watch:

SS Tyler Greene (bruised right hand) was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Aug. 1. Greene was struck by a pitch on July 17 and the injury was still bothering him.

RF Nick Stavinoha (right shoulder strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 12. He was activated July 31.

RHP Adam Ottavino (right shoulder strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 4. He won't need surgery, but he 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.

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 began a rehab assignment with Class AAA Memphis on July 26, and he 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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