Cardinals Major League Notebook: 09/08/10

The Cardinals offensive struggles continued in a 4-2 loss in Milwaukee on Tuesday night. Kyle Lohse took the loss in a game that featured four ejections.

INSIDE PITCH

 

Right-hander Kyle Lohse is making progress after returning from forearm surgery in early June. But he is 2-7 this year and 4-14 since being hit in the right arm by a pitch a year ago.

Lohse, making his fourth start since his surgery, was tied 2-2 in the fifth inning Tuesday but surrendered a two-run single to Milwaukee third baseman Casey McGehee that proved to be the winning hit.

Manager Tony La Russa, "irritated" by a number of aspects of the game, said one of those aspects was not Lohse.

"The reason we lost wasn't our starting pitcher," said La Russa. "We scored two runs over nine innings -- that's really the story. I know it is. Kyle is a targeted Cardinal, so I think he deserves credit for what he did today.

"You should be asking about our offense, not about our pitching."

What, then, about the offense? "It wasn't good enough," said La Russa.

The Cardinals scored only in the second on four straight hits by Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday, Yadier Molina and Colby Rasmus.

They had a chance to add on in the inning but, with runners at second and third, one out and the score tied 2-2, Pedro Feliz popped up.

"You've got to get a run there," said La Russa. "That wasn't a very good at-bat."

BREWERS 4, CARDINALS 2: The Cardinals, who have had trouble with almost everybody in the National League Central except division-leading Cincinnati, lost for the seventh time in 14 meetings with Milwaukee. The Cardinals had only two hits after the fourth inning.

NOTES AND QUOTES

RHP Kyle Lohse hasn't been the same since Kansas City left-hander Ron Mahay hit him with a pitch in the right arm on May 23, 2009. He is 4-14 since then. "I wish that pitch had hit me anywhere else," said Lohse. "I would have saved a lot of gray hairs and frustration."

LHP Jaime Garcia, who has more victories than any other rookie pitcher in the National League and the fifth-lowest ERA (2.35) in the league, will seek his 14th victory of the season Wednesday when he faces the Milwaukee Brewers. Garcia is 2-1 with a 1.08 ERA against the Brewers in four starts this year. Although a pitcher hasn't won the National League Rookie of the Year award since 2003, pitching coach Dave Duncan, endorsing Garcia's candidacy, said, "His record speaks for itself. His consistency speaks for itself. I hope he doesn't think too much about it."

Although the Cardinals' Class AAA Memphis team is in the Pacific Coast League playoffs, the Cardinals recalled SS Tyler Greene. Manager Tony La Russa said the Cardinals' organization had determined that Memphis had protection at shortstop in Donovan Solano, who was impressive in big-league camp this spring, now that Solano had recovered from an illness.

1B Albert Pujols again has been chosen as his team's nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, which Pujols won in 2008. The award is given for outstanding play on the field and for excellence in community service.

No player ever has won the award twice, but Pujols appreciates being nominated again because "it's not what you do in the game, it's what you do off the field. I don't play to get that award. I don't do things to get awards. I do things to make sure I bless God and give back to the community," said Pujols.

INF Felipe Lopez, who has been bothered by a knee injury for some time and has had it drained on several occasions, was back in the lineup at second base. But a nothing-for-four night dropped Lopez to 8 for his last 75 since Aug. 4. His average has gone from .266 to .233. "He's handled it. He continues to work," said La Russa. "He's been a good teammate. He's got so much to offer if he's hitting his .300."

By the Numbers:

22-25 - Cardinals' record against the four National League Central Division teams other than the Reds. They finished 12-6 against Cincinnati.

 

Quote to Note:

"At less than 100 percent, he's still a great player."

- Manager Tony La Russa, saying that 1B Albert Pujols isn't at top form physically in the midst of a recent swoon.

 

ROSTER REPORT

 

Medical Watch:

C Jason LaRue (concussion) went on the 15-day disabled list Aug. 13. He was moved to the 60-day DL on Aug. 19, ending his season.

RHP Adam Ottavino (right shoulder strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 4, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on Aug. 17. He won't need surgery, but he is out for the season.

3B David Freese (right ankle surgery) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 28, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on Aug. 15. He was originally out due to a bone bruise on his right ankle, and then he 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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