Los Angeles (46-42) at St. Louis (46-43)

Fair Currently: St. Louis, MO
Temp: 76° F
  • Game info: 7:10 pm EDT Wed Jul 9, 2003
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The St. Louis Cardinals could be without third baseman Scott Rolen when they open a two-game series against the slumping Los Angeles Dodgers at Busch Stadium.

Rolen, who was elected to a starting spot in next week’s All-Star Game, left Tuesday’s 9-5 loss to the San Francisco with neck and back spasms. He said his neck began to spasm while he argued with an umpire in the third inning, eventually forcing him to leave the game in the sixth.

“I’ve had some trouble with it,” Rolen said. “It’s a touchy situation. Everybody has aches and pains this time of year. It’s leveled out for me.”

While Rolen recovers, right-hander Brett Tomko will be looking to win his fourth consecutive decision. On Friday, Tomko allowed three runs and seven hits through six innings of an 11-8 win over the Chicago Cubs.

The Cardinals, who had won three of four before losing two straight, will look for another strong start from Tomko as they try to retain sole possession of first place in the NL Central.

Tuesday’s loss dropped St. Louis into a first-place tie with the Houston Astros.

Los Angeles has lost 13 of its last 15, falling 8 1/2 games behind first-place San Francisco in the NL West.

On Tuesday, the Dodgers lost to the San Diego Padres 8-5, getting swept for the third time in their past four series. It was only the third time in their last 15 games they managed to score more than three runs.

STANDINGS: Dodgers - 3rd place, 8 1/2 GB, NL West. Cardinals - 1st place (tied), NL Central.

DODGERS PROBABLE STARTER: Kazuhisa Ishii (7-3, 2.74 ERA). Ishii has allowed five earned runs in 17 innings over his past three starts, but he is 0-1 in that span due to Los Angeles’ offensive futility. On Friday, he allowed no runs and five hits through six innings of the Dodgers’ 3-1 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ishii lost his only previous start against the Cardinals, giving up three earned runs over six innings.

CARDINALS PROBABLE STARTER: Tomko (5-5, 5.63 ERA). In 11 career games against the Dodgers, Tomko is 5-2 with a 3.15 ERA.

OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Dodgers - Paul Lo Duca, .311 avg.; Fred McGriff and Shawn Green, 10 HRs; Green, 42 RBIs and 39 runs; Dave Roberts, 24 SBs. Cardinals - Albert Pujols, .368 avg., 81 RBIs and 77 runs; Jim Edmonds, 27 HRs; Edgar Renteria, 21 SBs.

2002 SEASON SERIES: Cardinals, 4-2.

STREAKS AND NOTES: Dodgers - 3B Adrian Beltre is batting .143 (3-for-21) in his career against RHP Tomko. … INF Mike Kinkade will miss Wednesday’s game to attend his grandmother’s funeral. He will rejoin the team Thursday. … RHP Guillermo Mota has not allowed a run in 14 straight innings. Cardinals - OF Orlando Palmeiro’s pinch hit in the eighth inning Tuesday was the 50th of his career. … CF Edmonds is batting .304 (7-for-23) during a six-game hitting streak. … RHP Matt Morris threw in a bullpen session Tuesday. He has been battling tenderness in his throwing shoulder.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Dodgers - 21-21 on the road; Cardinals - 26-18 at home.

INJURIES: Dodgers - C Todd Hundley (back), 15-day DL; 1B McGriff (groin), 15-day DL; OF Brian Jordan (knee), 15-day DL; OF Roberts (hamstring), 15-day DL; LHP Troy Brohawn (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Darren Dreifort (knee), 60-day DL; LHP Derek Thompson (elbow), 60-day DL. Cardinals - C Joe Girardi (back), 15-day DL; C Steve Torrealba (elbow), 15-day DL; INF Miguel Cairo (hand), 15-day DL; 2B Fernando Vina (hamstring), 15-day DL; OF Eli Marrero (ankle), 15-day DL; RHP Russ Springer (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Kiko Calero (knee), 60-day DL; RHP Chris Carpenter (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Gene Stechschulte (shoulder), 60-day DL.

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Starting Pitchers

K. Ishii NYM vs. B. Tomko Col
9-7 Record 13-9
3.86 ERA 5.28
140 K 114
101 BB 57
1.56 WHIP 1.52