Cardinals staked right-hander Lance Lynn to a 7-0 lead after four at-bats and
though he allowed no runs,
"(Monday) was a struggle," said
But Matheny may have stayed with left-handed reliever J.C. Romero a batter too long as the Diamondbacks rallied for six runs in the sixth, five of them off Romero, who retired none of the five hitters he faced. Romero has given up seven runs in his last 1 1/3 innings after working scoreless ball in his first eight outings.
Right-handed reliever Fernando Salas, though he gave up three singles -- two of them scratch hits -- nevertheless started a good run of Cardinals relief, striking out three hitters out of four to keep the Cardinals ahead going into the seventh.
The Cardinals then reversed the momentum the way they had created it in the first place. Leading off the seventh, first baseman Allen Craig homered for the second day in a row and third baseman David Freese made it back-to-back for the second time in the game.
Right fielder Carlos Beltran and left fielder Matt Holliday had hit consecutive homers in the third after shortstop Rafael Furcal had opened the game with a long, 441-foot home run. The Cardinals hadn't hit five homers in a game since 2007 when they had six.
Craig has knocked in nine runs in his five starts since coming off the disabled list. He banged his surgically-repaired knee trying to flag down an errant throw in the sixth and came out of the game in a double switch in the eighth, but said he was all right.
"No big deal," said Craig.
Matheny wasn't so sure, though. "We're keeping an eye on it," said Matheny. "He wasn't moving quite as good he was." Matheny did note, however, that Craig was strong enough to hit a home run in his final at-bat before leaving the game.
RHP Victor Marte, LHP Marc Rzepczynski and RHP Jason Motte went through the last three innings in scoreless fashion. Marte and Rzepczynski were perfect and Motte pitched around two singles, fanning two along the way. Cardinals pitchers fanned 13.
RHP Lance Lynn lowered
his earned run average to 1.40 with five scoreless innings although he walked
four. He had passed only seven in his first five starts but manager Mike Matheny
thought it was a good idea to lift
SS Rafael Furcal hit his 30th leadoff homer in the first inning. His run scored meant that the Cardinals had scored in the first inning seven straight times, six of them by Furcal.
RHP Chris Carpenter, whom Lance Lynn is replacing in the rotation, is progressing but may not be pitching until July after battling an arm strength problem relative to a nerve issue. General manager John Mozeliak said, "The last word I got was that things went well (in treatment and his rehab). But as far as getting back on the mound, I haven't been given any timetable regarding that."
By the Numbers:
1-0 Cardinals' record
against both the National League Western Division (
Quote to Note:
"A lot of things happened right for us (Monday). We just had one inning where the wheels fell off."
- Manager Mike Matheny, discussing the five-homer night by his team and a six-run sixth inning by Arizona.
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 could be activated May 11 when the Cardinals are back home.
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 9 at Arizona 6
Related article at The Cardinal Nation blog:
"The first five Cardinals in the order again go deep"