Cincinnati (27-24) at St. Louis (30-22)

Fair Currently: St. Louis, MO
Temp: 75° F
  • Game info: 8:15 pm EDT Wed Jun 3, 2009
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It’s been an up-and-down opening two months of the season for St. Louis’ Kyle Lohse(notes), who returns to the mound after a recent arm injury hoping to build off his last start.

Lohse and the Cardinals continue their four-game series with Cincinnati on Wednesday, trying to extend their home dominance over the Reds.

Lohse (4-3, 3.98 ERA) recorded a career-high 15 victories for St. Louis (30-22) in 2008 and he opened this season by winning his first three decisions. The right-hander injured his knee while covering first base at the end of April, however, and struggled in his first three starts in May, going 0-3 with a 10.67 ERA.

Lohse appeared to bounce back in his last outing, scattering four hits through eight innings in a 5-0 win over Kansas City on May 23. That performance was soured, however, when he was hit in the arm by a pitch, forcing him to miss his next start.

“I don’t know exactly what was going on inside there,” he told the Cardinals’ official Web site, “but I can tell you what I was feeling was a lot of burning and kind of a cramping sensation when I tried to throw hard. … You can throw through a lot of things, but not that.”

This will be Lohse’s second start this season against the Reds (27-24), who reached him for seven runs and nine hits over six innings in an 8-3 victory on May 9.

While Lohse hopes to avoid showing any rust after the time off, that wasn’t a problem for Brad Thompson(notes) on Tuesday in St. Louis’ 5-2 win over Cincinnati.

Thompson, starting in place of the injured Joel Pineiro(notes), made his first appearance since pitching in relief on May 17 and gave up two runs in five innings. Cardinals rookie Nick Stavinoha(notes) drove in the go-ahead run with a two-run, pinch-hit double in the sixth and also scored on a wild pitch.

Stavinoha has 12 RBIs in 45 at-bats since a mid-May callup from Triple-A Memphis.

“Memphis is a nice place and all,” Stavinoha said. “But I like it a little better here.”

St. Louis slugger Albert Pujols(notes), who turned his ankle in Monday’s loss, played Tuesday and had two RBI.

The Cardinals have won four of seven overall and 13 of 16 against Cincinnati at home.

The Reds, meanwhile, have lost four of five. They’ve scored 16 runs during that stretch while hitting .214.

Second-year right fielder Jay Bruce(notes) went hitless in four at-bats Tuesday and is 1 for 20 in the first five games of Cincinnati’s seven-game trip. Bruce is batting .175 (11 for 63) lifetime against the Cardinals.

Johnny Cueto(notes) (4-3, 2.53) will try to help the Reds bounce back as he looks to avoid losing a third straight decision. He pitched seven innings at Milwaukee on Friday, allowing three runs and three hits in a 3-2 loss.

After giving up 12 earned runs over 6 2-3 innings in two losses to the Cardinals in 2008, Cueto limited them to one run and five hits in seven innings of a 6-4 victory May 8.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Cueto KC vs. K. Lohse Mil
11-11 Record 6-10
4.41 ERA 4.74
132 K 77
61 BB 36
1.36 WHIP 1.37


Wednesday, Jun 3