Brett Tomko believes he may finally be turning things around. He’ll now look to do the same for the rest of his team.
After allowing at least five runs in each of his first three starts, Tomko was much better on Sunday. Although he took the loss, he gave up just one run and eight hits in a 1-0 defeat against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Tomko was glad to avoid the first-inning difficulties that plagued him in his previous starts.
“It’s been a struggle, but today I actually felt like I knew what I was doing out there,” Tomko said. “My stuff hasn’t been great and once you have a couple of bad first innings in a row it starts playing on your mind.”
Tomko will now look to lift the Cardinals out of their own doldrums. St. Louis has lost five straight, including all three in its recently completed series with the Atlanta Braves.
Cardinals manager Tony La Russa bristled when asked why he brought in Eldred, who came in with a 7.04 ERA. Opposing hitters were batting .313 against him.
“Evidently, he was the guy I thought was the right guy for the situation,” La Russa said sarcastically.
The Marlins are coming off a three-game sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers, their first series sweep of the season.
STANDINGS: Cardinals - 4th place, 3 GB, NL Central. Marlins - 4th place, 1 1/2 GB, NL East.
CARDINALS PROBABLE STARTER: Tomko (1-2, 5.33 ERA). In four career starts against the Marlins, Tomko is 2-0 with a 4.68 ERA.
MARLINS PROBABLE STARTER: A. J. Burnett (0-1, 3.63 ERA). After three starts, Burnett is still searching for his first win of the season. Last Saturday, he did not receive a decision after allowing three runs and five hits through 5 1-3 innings of a 6-5 win over the New York Mets. In four career games against the Cardinals, he is 2-1 with a 1.20 ERA.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Cardinals - Jim Edmonds, .396 avg. and 16 RBIs; Edmonds and Scott Rolen, 5 HRs; Edgar Renteria, 16 runs; Fernando Vina, 3 SBs. Marlins - Gonzalez, .366 avg. and 5 HRs; Gonzalez and Ivan Rodriguez, 18 RBIs; Juan Encarnacion, 15 runs; Juan Pierre, Encarnacion and Derrek Lee, 8 SBs.
2002 SEASON SERIES: Marlins, 4-2.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Cardinals - 3B Rolen is hitless in 16 career at-bats against Burnett. … Despite a strained ligament in his right elbow, Albert Pujols returned to the lineup on Thursday. He played first base, because he is still unable to throw. La Russa ordered Pujols not to risk further injury by throwing during the game, even if the situation called for it. He went 1-for-3. … RHP Tomko is batting .286 (2-for-7) this season. Marlins - CF Pierre is just 1-for-13 (.077) in his career against Tomko. … The Marlins lead the National League with six comeback wins. … RF Encarnacion has hit safely in six straight games.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Cardinals - 5-7 on the road; Marlins - 8-4 at home.
INJURIES: Cardinals - C Joe Girardi (back), 15-day DL; C Steve Torrealba (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Jason Isringhausen (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Lance Painter (pelvis), 15-day DL; RHP Chris Carpenter (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Gene Stechschulte (shoulder), 60-day DL. Marlins - OF Abraham Nunez (hamstring), 15-day DL.