The Cardinals combined spotty
starting pitching, sloppy defense (three errors) and little offense on a rainy
night Thursday at Busch Stadium. The result was predictable, a 4-1 loss to
"The whole game was not a standout
game," said manager Tony La Russa, whose club fell back into a first-place tie
Right-hander Kyle McClellan, who was 6-1 on May 19, is 6-6.
"The results aren't there," said McClellan. "I felt I pitched pretty well. I'm in a tough stretch. Tonight, it wasn't good enough."
McClellan trailed just 1-0 before the second of two rain delays -- the game was delayed 1 hour, 6 minutes in starting. But when he returned after 50 minutes, he missed his location on a couple of pitches in the sixth inning, and Diamondbacks right fielder Justin Upton deposited one of them over the center-field wall for a two-run homer that gave Arizona a cushion.
The Cardinals had just three hits
but drew six walks, including four from
Two innings were key to the Cardinals.
In the first, shortstop Ryan Theriot doubled and third baseman David Freese walked. But Albert Pujols, 1-for-9 since coming off the disabled list, flied out and left fielder Matt Holliday bounced into a double play.
After they had fallen behind 3-0 in the sixth, the Cardinals quickly scored as Freese and Pujols walked and Holliday doubled into the left-field corner. On a sloppy track, Pujols was held at third as Freese scored.
RHP Kyle McClellan is winless in
seven starts since May 19, including a stint on the disabled list with a hip
injury. Five of those starts have resulted in losses, including a 4-1 setback
LHP Jaime Garcia, 21-11 in the last two seasons, is believed to be close to agreeing to a four-year contract that would take him through his first year of free agency. He will be eligible for arbitration after this season. "If something happens, obviously, it's exciting, but I'm not really focusing on that right now," Garcia said. "I'm not going to lie to you. Some security is always good. Right now all I'm worried about is pitching and that's it." General manager John Mozeliak said, "Any conversations that we have are private. Nothing is done until it's done. We will make an announcement when we have something to announce."
Having used seven relievers to
work 8 2/3 innings on Wednesday, the Cardinals made a bullpen move. From Class
AAA Memphis, they purchased RHP P.J. Walters, who had pitched for them in the
last couple of seasons. Walters, who worked two nifty innings of relief
Thursday, replaced RHP Brandon Dickson, who was optioned to
C Gerald Laird, healed from a
broken right index finger, was taken off his injury rehabilitation assignment
and activated. But rookie C Tony Cruz, who also plays third and first base, was
kept as a third receiver and right-handed pinch-hitter. Left-handed hitting 1B
Mark Hamilton was returned to
BY THE NUMBERS: 1 -- Hits the last two games for 1B Albert Pujols since he came off the disabled list.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "If there's something going on, you guys will know. It's something private. I'm not saying yes or no, but if there is something going on at the right time you guys will find out." -- LHP Jaime Garcia, addressing the possibility that he soon will sign a contract extension.
LHP Brian Tallet (strained right intercostal muscle) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 4. He was injured while sneezing.
RHP Eduardo Sanchez (mild right shoulder strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 13. He threw a bullpen session July 4, and he began a rehab assignment with Class AA Springfield on July 7, and he could return to the Cardinals right after the All-Star break.
OF Allen Craig (broken right kneecap) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 8.
C Gerald Laird (broken right index finger) went on the 15-day disabled list May 23. He will begin a rehab assignment with Class AAA Memphis on July 5, and he was activated July 7.
RHP Adam Wainwright (Tommy John surgery in February 2011) went on the 60-day disabled list March 25. He will miss the entire 2011 season. He was scheduled to play catch on flat ground in late June.
VIDEOS FROM FOXSPORTSMIDWEST.COM
Tony TV: Cardinals manager Tony La Russa comments on Kyle McClellan's performance on Thursday.
Kyle McClellan talks about his tough outing against the Diamondbacks on Thursday.