Winless for more than two months,
right-hander Kyle McClellan found a familiar opponent Monday night --
left-hander J.A. Happ and the Houston Astros.
McClellan had made eight
futile attempts at winning his seventh game of the season, including five
straight losses since he had beaten Houston and Happ in St. Louis, 4-2. on May 19.
But when Happ and the Astros showed up at Busch Stadium, McClellan's losing
streak was over in a 10-5 triumph over Happ, who is 0-4 against the Cardinals
Catcher Yadier Molina,
fresh after a day off on Sunday, had three hits and homered for a third straight
start besides throwing out a runner trying to steal. Center fielder Colby Rasmus, enjoying a second straight good performance, homered for the second game
in succession -- and drove in three runs besides making a critical diving catch
in the eighth inning.
Molina tied his career
high in homers at eight. In his first full season, 2005, Molina also hit eight
homers. In the intervening five seasons, Molina hit six, six, seven, six and six
"I've got the same
approach," said Molina. "Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn't. Hopefully it
will be more (homers) this year."
Manager Tony La Russa's
approach might have changed a bit, though. Possessing three catchers now, he
gave Molina a day off in each stop on the recent three-city trip.
"He works so hard," said
La Russa. "If I give him a rest once in awhile, it helps."
In past years, Molina has
resisted taking days off, but the recent heat wave has not only taken its toll,
it has softened his stance.
"You always want to be
part of the everyday game. But like I told my wife, 'Sometimes, you've got to
take a step back and take a day off, get your mind right and get your body to
rest,' " said Molina.
McClellan said he had
kept his mind right by talking to the more veteran starters in the rotation
during his travail. "Today I felt like I was able to keep control of the game
where, in other games, it kind of got away from me," McClellan
Manager Tony La Russa
probably shouldn't let RHP P.J. Walters face Houston 1B Carlos Lee anymore. Lee hit a grand
slam against Walters in the eighth inning Monday. In the only other at-bat Lee
had against Walters, in 2009, the result also was a grand slam.
RF Lance Berkman, who had
appeared in 40 games in succession, sat out Monday, resting a mild right rotator
cuff strain (non-throwing arm) he had suffered when reaching for an outside
pitch on Sunday. An X-ray revealed nothing wrong, "I don't anticipate it being
more than a day or two. I'd like to give it a day just to calm down."
outfielders didn't have any appreciable difficulty, Houston outfielders
slipped several times on the new grass laid down at Busch Stadium after a U2
concert on July 17 had torn up the field. "Is it going to play perfect? No, it's
not going to play like it's been down for a year," said head groundskeeper Bill
Findley. "But we did everything we could possibly do in the time that we
RHP Adam Wainwright,
recovering from Tommy John elbow surgery performed in February, is throwing on
flat ground from 60 feet, 6 inches three times a week for a total of 75 tosses
each time. Wainwright, who is slated to throw off a mound in September, said, "I
don't feel like I've got a brand new, ready-to-go arm. But I feel like I've got
a brand new one. It's definitely going to be a little harder than I thought. But
I'm going to keep on keeping on."
OF/INF Allen Craig,
recovering from a broken right kneecap suffered on June 7, went 1-for-5 in his
first two rehabilitation games for Class AAA Memphis and then didn't play on
Monday. Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said he heard Craig's progress was
"rusty," and he expected that Craig would be on rehab another week or longer.
2B/OF Skip Schumaker made
a diving catch as a reserve outfielder in the eighth inning and also drove in a
run with a single. He has hit .341 since June 4, raising his average to .284.
Schumaker also has made only three errors and has drawn praise from manager Tony
La Russa for his ability to turn the double play and use his strong arm to his
BY THE NUMBERS: 3-0, 4-6
- RHP Kyle McClellan's record against Houston and his record vs. the rest of the
QUOTE TO NOTE: "There's
been games where I've let the big inning kill me."
- RHP Kyle McClellan, who had
given up three or more runs in an inning in four of his five defeats during a
losing streak that ended on Monday.
RHP Kyle Lohse (inflamed
middle right finger) left the team July 21 to have an exam in St. Louis. He threw a side
session July 22 and made his start July 24 at Pittsburgh.
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 began a rehab assignment with Class AA Springfield on July 7 but had renewed
soreness soon after and was shut down until late August or early
OF Allen Craig (broken
right kneecap) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 8. He began
a rehab assignment with Class AAA Memphis on July 23, and he figures to return
after Aug. 1.
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.
July 26 vs. ASTROS: Jake Westbrook (8-4, 5.04) vs. Brett Myers (3-10, 4.74) 7:15
p.m. CDT (FOX Sports
Midwest, KMOX Radio and Cardinals Radio
VIDEO FROM FOXSPORTSMIDWEST.COM
Tony TV: Hear from Cardinals manager Tony La Russa following the 10-5 win against Houston Monday night.
Yadier Molina and Kyle McClellan sound off on the offense in the win against Houston Monday night.
Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak talks about Lance Berkman's injury as well as the trade deadline.