However, it was third baseman Wes Helms who was forced to leave Wednesday’s game with a bruised left knee after getting plunked by Jason Simontacchi in the second inning. Cardinals second baseman Miguel Cairo then left in the sixth with a fractured bone in his left hand.
Cairo, who has been subbing for an injured Fernando Vina, was hit by a fastball from right-hander Dan Kolb, making his Brewers debut. The Cardinals did not say how long Cairo would be out.
“That’s a tough break for him,” Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. “He’s so important to us. But that happens in the game of baseball.”
The beanballs overshadowed yet another exceptional night at the plate for Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols, who went 4-for-5 to raise his major league-leading average to .386.
The Brewers have dropped eight of their last 11.
STANDINGS: Cardinals - 3rd place, 2 GB, NL Central. Brewers - 6th place, 11 GB, NL Central.
CARDINALS PROBABLE STARTER: Brett Tomko (2-5, 6.20 ERA). Winless in his last nine starts, Tomko takes the hill after getting hit hard by the New York Yankees for nine earned runs and 12 hits—including four home runs—in 5 1-3 innings of a 13-4 loss on Saturday. The hard-throwing right-hander has allowed 18 earned runs and 22 hits in his last 7 1-3 innings. Opponents are hitting .319 against Tomko, who is 3-1 with a 4.24 ERA in eight career appearances— including seven starts—against the Brewers.
BREWERS PROBABLE STARTER: Ruben Quevedo (1-2, 4.54 ERA). Quevedo comes in after snapping a five-start winless streak with a solid seven innings in an 8-3 win over Baltimore on Saturday. The right-hander allowed just two runs and seven hits, while striking out two and walking two. Quevedo, who has pitched at least six innings in five of his starts, is 1-2 with a 3.30 ERA in five career starts against the Cardinals.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Cardinals - Pujols, .386 avg., 60 RBIs and 62 runs; Pujols and Jim Edmonds, 19 HRs; Edgar Renteria, 12 SBs. Brewers - Podsednik, .305 avg.; Sexson, 21 HRs and 48 runs; Sexson and Geoff Jenkins, 47 RBIs; Eric Young, 16 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Cardinals, 7-2.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Cardinals - Wednesday was the one-year anniversary of the death of Jack Buck, the Cardinals’ long-time broadcaster. It was also the one-year anniversary of the last appearance by Darryl Kile before his death. He pitched the Cardinals into sole possession of first place in the NL Central with a 7-2 win over the Anaheim Angels. … CF Edmonds probably will miss the rest of the series, perhaps more, after injuring his left hip on a fall after making an outstanding catch before slamming into the fence in the ninth inning Tuesday. … OF J.D. Drew led off an inning all six times up. Brewers - LHP Glendon Rusch had his career-high losing streak extended to 10 games with Wednesday’s poor outing. Rusch (1-11) has an unsightly 8.61 ERA. … RHP Kolb, who took the roster spot of injured RHP Jayson Durocher, was 0-1 with a 1.37 ERA and four saves in 26 games for Triple-A Indianapolis, and has a 5.01 ERA in 68 career major league appearances, all with Texas, from 1999-2002. … RHP Mike DeJean was presented Wednesday with his NL Player of the Week Award for May 25-June 1.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Cardinals - 15-21 on the road. Brewers - 13-25 at home.
INJURIES: Cardinals - INF Cairo (hand), day-to-day; C Steve Torrealba (elbow), 15-day DL; C Chris Widger (thumb), 15-day DL; INF Vina (hamstring), 15-day DL; OF Eli Marrero (ankle), 15-day DL; RHP Russ Springer (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Chris Carpenter (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Gene Stechschulte (shoulder), 60-day DL. Brewers - RHP Nick Neugebauer (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Todd Ritchie (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Durocher (right shoulder), 15-day DL.
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