MLB Insiders - Scott Rolen Day to Day


Posted Aug 12, 2006


3B Scott Rolen, who had some back spasms in Cincinnati that have caused him to miss two games and most of a third, took some grounders and hit in the indoor cage, but isn't expected to be ready to play until Sunday.

The National League Central Division has been a bit more challenging to the Cardinals this season than in the past.

After compiling a 51-29 mark against Central foes last year, the Cardinals brought a losing 25-27 mark into PNC Park here Friday. But a visit to PNC always had cured what ailed the Cardinals, inasmuch as they were 34-12 against the Pirates in six seasons at PNC here and the Cardinals' Albert Pujols had hit 18 home runs, most by far for a visiting player, and had batted .384 in the new stadium.

Pujols did more than his part Friday, doubling three times and singling once as he raised his PNC average to .422. But his teammates did little against Zach Duke in a 7-1 loss.

Duke gave up just four hits, all singles, to players not named Pujols in a complete-game, 101-pitch effort.

Jeff Suppan had been 7-2 against the Pirates in his career, but was cuffed for five runs in 5 1/3 innings as he lost for the seventh time in 16 decisions this year.

It was the 15th loss by six runs or more for the Cardinals.

"That's not a healthy habit to get into," said manager Tony La Russa.

Scott Spiezio said, "There's not much to take away from tonight. Overall, the picture of the game stunk."

REPLAY: Scoring in the first inning for the fourth game out of five on this trip, the Cardinals melded a double by Pujols and a single by Juan Encarnacion for a 1-0 lead. And that was it.

Pittsburgh scored twice in the second off Jeff Suppan and then Nate McLouth homered to drive in one run and tripled to drive in two more in a 7-1 win over the Cardinals.

NOTES --C Yadier Molina had one of the Cardinals' eight hits, extending his hitting streak to six games.

--1B Albert Pujols now is hitting .422 in PNC Park for his career after a four-for-four night.

--Friday night was a tough night for 2B Ronnie Belliard, who fanned twice and hit into two double plays, and for CF Jim Edmonds, who had two strikeouts and grounded into one double play. Edmonds is hitting only .160 against left-handed pitching this season.

--The win was only the Pirates' third in 10 meetings overall with the Cardinals this season. "They pitched and hit like a first-place team," said manager Tony La Russa. "And we didn't."

--3B Scott Rolen, who had some back spasms in Cincinnati that have caused him to miss two games and most of a third, took some grounders and hit in the indoor cage, but isn't expected to be ready to play until Sunday.

--Friday night was a tough night for 2B Ronnie Belliard, who fanned twice and hit into two double plays, and for CF Jim Edmonds, who had two strikeouts and grounded into one double play. Edmonds is hitting only .160 against left-handed pitching this season.

--The win was only the Pirates' third in 10 meetings overall with the Cardinals this season. "They pitched and hit like a first-place team," said manager Tony La Russa. "And we didn't."



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