Cardinals Major League Notebook: 08/14/10

Recent acquisition Jake Westbrook continued his strong pitching, earning his first St. Louis win in his third start as the Cardinals defeated the Cubs Friday night at Busch Stadium.



The sinkerball version of Jake Westbrook appeared for the Cardinals on Friday night, rather than the strikeout machine who had recorded 16 whiffs in 13 innings over his first two starts for the Cardinals. Those starts hadn't resulted in a victory either for Westbrook or the Cardinals.

So Westbrook struck out only three Chicago Cubs in six innings Friday. But he recorded 12 groundball outs and allowed just two hits after the Cubs had bunched four hits in the first inning for two runs.

"I've never really ever considered myself a strikeout guy," said Westbrook. "I'm not upset that I only struck out three. I've gone ballgames and pitched well and not struck out anybody. Yeah, this was more my type game."

The Cardinals' offense scored four or more runs for the 11th straight time -- the team is 8-3 during that span. Westbrook contributed a fourth-inning double, his first hit in four years -- or since he got a single off Chris Carpenter in St. Louis when Westbrook was pitching for Cleveland.

On Friday, he also scored the first run of his pro career. He had never even gotten to third base.

As the Cardinals captured their fourth straight win, Albert Pujols, who has raised his average to .313 by hitting safely in 11 of 12 games, had three hits and scored three runs. He has scored at least one run in 11 consecutive games, two shy of his personal best, set in his rookie season of 2001.

CARDINALS 6, CUBS 3: Finally, 113 games into the Cardinals' season, the Chicago Cubs made their first visit to St. Louis. But, after RHP Jake Westbrook allowed two runs on four hits in the Chicago first, the Cubs had just three hits and one run the rest of the way.


Manager Tony La Russa, forced to let his coaching staff run the club while he sat out the first game of a two-game suspension, watched from a private box on the third level. Asked his observations, La Russa smiled and said, "Like you guys, I was second-guessing everything I saw—after the fact. I didn't have anything to do with (the game) so I was definitely a fan."

CF Colby Rasmus was 0-for-0, having walked four times (once intentionally) for the first time in his career.

C Yadier Molina, given a standing ovation by the home crowd for standing up to Cincinnati 2B Brandon Phillips earlier in the week, had two sacrifice flies and a single as he extended his hitting streak to seven games.

C Jason LaRue, kicked in the head by Cincinnati RHP Johnny Cueto in the brawl on Tuesday in Cincinnati, was placed on the disabled list because of the concussion (and bruised ribs) he suffered, and OF Nick Stavinoha was recalled from Class AAA Memphis. "I feel better," said LaRue. "But there's still signs. I can't really describe it. If you've never had (a concussion), I don't know how to describe it."

Nearly three months after his last start for the Cardinals, RHP Kyle Lohse, who had forearm surgery in early June, will start Sunday's game against the Cubs. Lohse, who had been flown to Florida for a bullpen session last Saturday, chose to go to Reno with Class AAA Memphis for a fourth rehabilitation start rather than just up the road to Class A Palm Beach. He wanted to face better hitters. "I didn't think that pitching against 'A' ball guys was going to prove anything," said Lohse, who fanned nine in seven innings at Reno, allowing only one run.

Texas high school RHP Tyrell Jenkins agreed to a $1.3 million signing bonus as a Cardinals first-round pick in the supplemental phase of the June draft. The Cardinals had to pay Jenkins about twice the recommended amount for the slot where he was selected because he had a scholarship to play quarterback at Baylor, although the bonus is spread over several years.

By the Numbers:

1.22 - RHP Adam Wainwright's earned run average at home in 12 starts. This leads the National League.


Quote to Note:


"There's no whining in baseball."


- GM John Mozeliak, after losing 3B David Freese for the rest of the season with a severe ankle injury that required surgery.





Medical Watch:

C Jason LaRue (mild concussion, bruised ribs) was hurt during a skirmish in the Aug. 10 game. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list Aug. 13.

RHP Jeff Suppan (sore right groin) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Aug. 1.

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 minor league rehab assignment July 26, and he made what was likely his final rehab start Aug. 10 for Class AAA Memphis. He's expected to start for the Cardinals on Aug. 15.

RHP Jason Motte (AC sprain in right shoulder) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Aug. 3. He hopes to return as soon as he's eligible.

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

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. He tore a right ankle tendon Aug. 2 in his first rehab game with Class AA Springfield, and he had season-ending surgery Aug. 6.

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. As of Aug. 5, he was playing catch but not throwing off a mound. Penny is out indefinitely.

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