MLB Insiders - Life Without Pujols

Posted Jun 5, 2006

Scott Rolen has a nine game hitting streak going, just in time. The Cardinals will be looking to Scott to help pick up the slack, with the loss of Albert Pujols to the DL for the next four to six weeks.

The Cardinals began life without Albert Pujols -- probably for the next month or so -- by avoiding their first series sweep at new Busch Stadium on Sunday.

Pujols, who suffered a strained right oblique muscle chasing a foul ball on Saturday, was placed on the 15-day disabled list Sunday, and manager Tony La Russa said, "I'm sure he's going to miss quite a bit of service."

While Pujols, the major league leader in home runs (25) and runs batted in (65), went on the DL, Jim Edmonds stayed off it. And Edmonds replaced Pujols at first base and had a strong game in a 9-6 win over the Cubs, getting three hits and driving in two runs besides scoring a run with a heads-up baserunning play.

Before Pujols went down, the Cardinals seemed all but certain to put Edmonds on the DL, but La Russa said he had been told by the club's medical staff that Edmonds wouldn't aggravate any further the abdominal strain he had been battling.

"There's no way he would play if there could be any kind of significant damage," La Russa said. "I'll be careful with Jim.

"He didn't go crazy on the bases today, which was very smart."

REPLAY: Juan Encarnacion's second run-scoring double capped a three-run fifth inning and broke a 5-5 tie, leading the Cardinals to a 9-6 win over the Cubs. Earlier, Scott Rolen, who had two hits and three runs batted in, had singled to even the game.

Five members of the Cardinals bullpen worked a total of four innings, allowing just one run.


--RHP Jason Marquis, who won his fifth consecutive decision after losing his previous four, moved into a tie for the league lead with eight wins. He worked only five innings, giving five runs and "really struggled," manager Tony La Russa said.

--CF Jim Edmonds made his 10th start at first base for the Cardinals since joining them in 2000.

--LHP Tyler Johnson fanned both hitters he faced, making left-handed batsmen 0-for-13 with six strikeouts against him this season.

--3B Scott Rolen extended his hitting streak to nine games (13-for-34) with two hits. He batted third for the second time this season.

--Despite winning, the Cardinals lost their first series in 10 at new Busch Stadium.

--OF Chris Duncan was called up from Triple-A Memphis to replace 1B Albert Pujols on the 25-man roster.

BY THE NUMBERS: 9 -- Number of home series won out of the first nine played by the Cardinals at Busch Stadium.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Get him back -- and keep him back." -- Manager Tony La Russa, on the potential activation of ace RHP Chris Carpenter next week. Carpenter, the 2005 Cy Young Award winner in the National League, was suffering from bursitis.

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