David Freese was fortunate to
emerge with merely a mild concussion and a contusion on his head Thursday after
being hit on the left side of his batting helmet by a pitch from Florida's Clay Hensley.
Freese painfully knocked
in the go-ahead run in the Cardinals' 7-4 win over Florida because the bases
were loaded when he was hit in the third inning.
Teammate Matt Holliday
said, "You shouldn't have to take a lump on the head to get a game-winning
Freese, who said he
couldn't really see for about 10 seconds after he got hit, immediately left the
game. He was a little dizzy afterward, but he didn't expect to have to go on the
disabled list, even the new seven-day version.
"I'll be in there against
Tuesday)," he said.
Holliday, who was
plunked, harmlessly, in the left forearm just ahead of Freese in the third, hit
a three-run homer in the first inning. Holliday's homer was his third in the
last four games, and Albert Pujols, who had three hits, belted his 25th, a solo
shot, in the fourth.
Right-hander Kyle Lohse
didn't really take advantage of the largesse, giving up three runs in the
and skating out of danger a couple of other times before he was lifted after
But right-hander Kyle McClellan (9-6), just moved to the bullpen from the rotation, did benefit.
McClellan, who had struggled in two of his first three relief outings, worked
three scoreless innings to gain his second victory in three
impressive rookie Lance Lynn, Jason Motte and Fernando Salas also delivered
solid relief work as manager Tony La Russa went through seven pitchers for the
second time in three days. The Cardinals won both games, one in Milwaukee, one in Florida, with Salas gaining his 20th save in
23 chances in the opener against the Marlins.
Manager Tony La Russa,
having seen 1B Albert Pujols hit in the left hand on a ball that was up near his
head, said he felt "concern, anger and frustration" when he saw 3B David Freese
hit in the left side of his helmet by Florida's Clay
"It (happens) way too
often," La Russa said. "Not enough guys have enough command to try to pitch
(inside). Just get the ball down. (Freese) already broke his hand (when hit by a
pitch in Atlanta
on May 1). If it was little lower, this would have hit his
C Yadier Molina, who had
a bruised right hand anyway, accepted his five-game suspension for bumping and
spewing spittle on the face of plate umpire Rob Drake on Tuesday after Molina
was ejected for disputing a third strike. The suspension will cover the
Cardinals' four games in Florida and the first
game of a home series with Milwaukee, but Molina should be ready for the
final two games of the set against the NL Central leaders.
If Molina had appealed,
the final decision, whatever it might have been, could have cost him all three
games of the crucial Milwaukee series.
Molina said, "I feel
sorry for everything that happened. I take full responsibility for my actions. I
just want to move on and try to put it in the past. … I was looking at it as,
'Take it right away, because later on, you want to be part of the (pennant)
Manager Tony La Russa
held a closed-door meeting covering several topics before his team began its
pregame workout Thursday night. One of the issues was the suspension handed down
to Molina. Another was relative to an animated argument catchers Gerald Laird
and Molina got into at the team hotel, the Ritz-Carlton in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.,
late Wednesday night after the club's late arrival from Milwaukee. No punches were
reported thrown in the dispute, which quickly was mediated by 1B Albert
"It was a long, hot day,"
said La Russa, referencing Wednesday's 10-5 loss at Milwaukee before the team
traveled. "And when you talk about a long, hot day, there's frustration. But
there wasn't anything. They hugged each other. They're friends. It's just one of
those things that happens. It's a long trip. There was no fight. They just got
into an argument a little bit."
The Cardinals are making
their last regular-season visit to Sun Life Stadium in Miami this weekend, but
they are scheduled to play the first regular-season game at the Florida Marlins'
new ballpark next April 4. The Cardinals, who share spring training facilities
at Jupiter, Fla., with the Marlins, are scheduled to play just one
season-opening game, on a Wednesday, in Miami before moving on to a weekend
series in Milwaukee. The Cardinals then would return to face the Marlins in a
more extended series later.
With their win Thursday,
the Cardinals raised their record in Miami to 42-27, tops for any visiting National
RHP Kyle Lohse, who was
yanked after three innings Thursday, has just two wins in his last 11 starts. He
said a middle finger issue he had had on his pitching hand is not to blame. "I'm
at a loss for what happened tonight," Lohse said. "I'm not happy about
BY THE NUMBERS: 30 -
Multi-hit games for 1B Albert Pujols, tying him with LF Matt Holliday and INF
Ryan Theriot for the team lead.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "It
sounded like the ball hit a watermelon."
- RF Lance Berkman, on
the pitch that hit 3B David Freese on the left side of his batting helmet.
Berkman initially didn't think it had been that serious, but Freese suffered a
3B David Freese (mild
concussion, head contusion) left the Aug. 4 game. He hopes to be back by Aug.
INF Nick Punto (strained
left oblique) went on the 15-day disabled list July 29.
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 September. He
was transferred to the 60-day DL on July 31.
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.
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.
Aug. 5 at MARLINS: Jake Westbrook (9-5, 4.92) vs. Ricky Nolasco (8-7, 3.92) 6:10
p.m. CDT (FOX Sports
Midwest, KMOX Radio and Cardinals Radio
VIDEO FROM FOXSPORTSMIDWEST.COM
Tony TV: Manager Tony La Russa and Albert Pujols discuss Thursday's 7-4 win and Pujols' 25th home run.
Cardinals' third baseman David Freese talks about his early exit after a wild pitch.