Cardinals Major League Notebook: 07/20/11

Beltran tees off against Lohse Tuesday night

The Cardinals lost the first game of their three-game set in New York as Carlos Beltran has Kyle Lohse's number

INSIDE PITCH

 

The Cardinals have almost all of their offensive weapons available now that Albert Pujols and David Freese are back from the disabled list, but the offense has ceased to function the last two games.

In scoring a total of three runs, including a 4-2 loss to the Mets at New York on Tuesday night, the Cardinals have had just one run-scoring hit with men in scoring position, and that was a single past Mets right-hander Dillon Gee by Cardinals right-hander Kyle Lohse in the fifth inning.

That gave the Cardinals a 1-0 lead, but two-run doubles by Angel Pagan off Lohse and Daniel Murphy off Raul Valdes were too much to overcome.

Valdes and fellow left-hander Trever Miller continued to have trouble out of the bullpen. Of the three hitters they faced, two got hits.

Lance Berkman extended his National League-leading home run total to 26 with a 430-foot-plus blast to right-center in the seventh inning. Seven of Berkman's last 10 hits have been homers, and all 10 of his RBI since June 30 have come on homers.

Lohse, who has recorded just one win in his last eight starts, gave up four runs on 10 hits and three walks in 5 2/3 innings. He hadn't pitched since July 8.

"I wasn't sharp coming off a long layoff," Lohse said. "For the most part, I felt I was dodging a lot of stuff. I thought I made a lot of good pitches when I had to, but not enough really."

NOTES, QUOTES

1B Albert Pujols grounded into his National League-leading 22nd double play, and it couldn't have come at a worse time. Pujols' GIDP came with the bases loaded and one out in the eighth inning when the Cardinals trailed 4-2. Pujols also grounded into a double play to end the fourth. The Cardinals have held a huge lead in the league in that category for most of the season, and manager Tony La Russa said, "We've got a lot of them (102), no doubt about it."

RHP Kyle Lohse allowed two doubles in two at-bats to New York RF Carlos Beltran, making Beltran 22-for-39 (.564) against Lohse. So, Lohse walked Beltran with a man at first and two outs in the sixth inning. "As you get a little older, you get a little smarter," Lohse said. "Maybe I'll make up a knuckleball or something to get him out."

However, Lohse may not have been aware that he was coming out of the game after his walk to Beltran. With the Cardinals trailing 2-1, LHP Raul Valdes was brought in to face Mets 3B Daniel Murphy, a left-handed hitter. Manager Tony La Russa explained, "The last two times (Lohse) faced him, Murphy hit the ball hard. I didn't think the third time would be a charm." But Murphy doubled off Valdes anyway, driving in two runs.

The Mets outhit the Cardinals 14-5. "The score (4-2) was a little misleading," La Russa said.

SS Ryan Theriot played Tuesday, pending an appeal for the two-game suspension he incurred for making contact with umpire Mike Muchlinski as Theriot protested a decision at second base Sunday in Cincinnati. Manager Tony La Russa said, "I think he's got a real good reputation and record of not having any trouble with umpires. It was accidental, and we're hoping that works in his favor."

BY THE NUMBERS: 0-6 - RHP Kyle Lohse's record in New York against both the Yankees and the Mets. He is 0-2 at old Yankee Stadium and 0-2 at both Shea Stadium and Citi Field, the two home parks of the Mets.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I think you start scoreboard-watching come September. You're aware of where everybody is, but it's not something you're agonizing over on a nightly basis."

- RF Lance Berkman, on the standings in July.

 

ROSTER REPORT

 

MEDICAL WATCH:

INF Nick Punto (sore right elbow) left the July 16 game, and he might be placed on the disabled list. He pinch-hit July 17 but didn't play July 18-19. Punto missed the season's first 16 games after having abdominal surgery in February, then missed 36 games from mid-May to late June due to a right forearm strain.

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 September.

OF Allen Craig (broken right kneecap) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 8. He might return in late July.

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.

NEXT GAME

Wed., July 20 vs. METS: Kyle McClellan (6-6, 4.24) vs. R.A. Dickey (4-8, 3.70) 6:10 p.m. (FOX Sports Midwest, ESPN, KMOX Radio and Cardinals Radio Network).

VIDEO FROM FOXSPORTSMIDWEST.COM

<a href="http://www.foxsportsmidwest.com/pages/video?UUID=dcb17610-a2e6-4ade-aebd-bd28862c3aae&amp;src=SLPl:embed::uuids" target="_new" title="La Russa: Mets played better, pitched better">Video: La Russa: Mets played better, pitched better</a>
Tony TV: Cardinals manager Tony La Russa explains why his team was unable to overcome NY Tuesday night.

<a href="http://www.foxsportsmidwest.com/pages/video?UUID=fe03e440-7f9e-47f6-b90b-939f4fce57b2&amp;src=SLPl:embed::uuids" target="_new" title="Berkman, Lohse talk 4-2 loss">Video: Berkman, Lohse talk 4-2 loss</a>
Lance Berkman and Kyle Lohse reflect on the latter's outing against NY and more after Tuesday's defeat.

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