Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, facing a difficult decision in the
top of the sixth inning in a tie game at Arizona on Wednesday night, had it made a
little easier for him when he considered starter Kyle Lohse's tight hamstring.
Catcher Tony Cruz, relieving Yadier Molina for a night while Molina rested a bruised left hand, singled to keep the
inning alive and give the Cardinals runners at first and second with two outs.
Lohse had thrown just 73 pitches in the first five innings but had tweaked his
left hamstring turning second base and heading for third in the previous
Lohse, who pitched a scoreless fifth,
said he was good enough to continue, but Matheny pulled the plug. He called on
left-handed-hitting rookie Matt Carpenter to pinch-hit, even though Arizona had a
left-hander, Wade Miley, on the mound.
Carpenter made Matheny look wise,
doubling over the head of left fielder Jason Kubel to drive in the go-ahead runs
in what became a 7-2 win, providing the Cardinals with their first three-game
series sweep of the season. St.
Louis, nine games over .500 for the first time, finally
scored a series sweep on its fifth try.
Matheny said he thought Lohse would be
OK but decided not to push him for another inning, especially with the Cardinals
having an off day Thursday. Lohse gets an extra day of rest before his next
start, Tuesday against the Cubs in St.
Carpenter, meanwhile, knocked his
fifth and sixth runs as a pinch hitter. He has 16 RBI for the season, the
highest total for a rookie.
But the game wasn't decided until the
ninth when Rafael Furcal, the top leadoff man in the league, singled with two
outs for his fourth hit. The score was 3-2 at the time. Carlos Beltran singled,
Matt Holliday doubled home two runs, and Allen Craig cracked a two-run homer,
his third home run since he came off the disabled list just more than a week
Craig has 11 RBI in his six starts,
but he now may have to go the outfield for some of his time with first baseman
Lance Berkman (strained left calf) due to come off the disabled list
C Yadier Molina's left hand isn't
broken, only bruised. Molina, hit by a pitch from RHP Mitchell Boggs, who
crossed up Molina on Tuesday, said he expected to play Friday at home against
Atlanta. "It's a
lot better today, a lot better," Molina said Wednesday.
Manager Mike Matheny
said, "I was very concerned."
1B Lance Berkman
(strained left calf) took ground balls at first base and ran in the outfield
before Wednesday's game. He has not played since aggravating his leg April 18.
"The way we're playing, it's probably not that big of a deal," Berkman said.
"It's not like we've been struggling to score or anything like that." He could
be activated as soon as Friday.
RHP Kyle Lohse became the
Cardinals' second five-game winner, joining RHP Lance Lynn, although he lasted
just five innings. Lohse left with a tight left hamstring, as he felt something
coming around second as he advanced on SS Rafael Furcal's fifth-inning single.
He lunged awkwardly into third base instead of sliding but said he had hurt his
leg before that. "I feel like if I had slid, something bad would have happened,"
SS Rafael Furcal, with
four hits, had his seventh game of three hits or more, giving him a league-high
44 hits. He clearly has been the catalyst to the Cardinals' 20-11 start with a
.423 on-base percentage. He's hit safely in his last nine games at 18-for-39
pitching, in the form of RHPs Kyle Lohse, Lance Lynn and Jake Westbrook, had a
0.53 ERA for the three-game series at Arizona.
The Cardinals failed to
score in the first inning Wednesday for the first time in nine games. The
eight-game run tied a mark they had set in 1996.
CF Shane Robinson, giving
Jon Jay a day off, ranged deep near the track to make a couple of good catches
and also threw out a runner at the plate. He went 1-for-4, dropping his average
6- Saves for RHP Jason Motte, who pitched out of a bases-loaded, no-out spot in the ninth inning
"I think he pulled his
- Manager Mike Matheny,
on the hamstring injury suffered by RHP Kyle Lohse while the latter was running
the bases in the fifth inning.
RHP Kyle Lohse (tight
left hamstring) left his May 9 start. He will get an extra day of rest before
his next start, May 15.
C Yadier Molina (bruised
left hand) left the May 8 game, and he didn't play May 9. He is
1B Lance Berkman
(strained left calf) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 19.
He had difficulty when he attempted running May 3 but felt much better May 6
after running for about 10 minutes in the outfield. He fielded grounders May 9,
and he could be activated May 11.
RHP Scott Linebrink
(right shoulder capsulitis) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to
March 30. He felt tightness during an April 30 bullpen session, and he didn't
appear close to a return.
RHP Chris Carpenter (weak
right shoulder) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 26. He
isn't likely to begin a real throwing program until May and probably won't pitch
until at least June.
Link to boxscore: St. Louis 7 at Arizona 2