Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cards Have Enough Horses; Gast Picks Up His Second Victory since Joining the Rotation in Place of Injured Westbrook

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cards Have Enough Horses; Gast Picks Up His Second Victory since Joining the Rotation in Place of Injured Westbrook

Article excerpt

Several seasons ago when Chris Carpenter and Mark Mulder were the injured veteran starters and Adam Wainwright was the colt at the back end of the rotation, the young righty attended a meeting where the healthy starters were asked to "hold the fort down." Help the team survive, came the instruction, "until our stallions get back."

He still remembers years later what the message meant to him, which is why he won't repeat it to the rookie starters the Cardinals are now turning to for help.

Those words stung.

"That ticked us all off," Wainwright said Sunday. "What does that mean for us? The stallions? We're not good enough? I would never say these guys here now are keeping us afloat. They deserve to be here. We're not trying to stay afloat. They've earned what they're getting."

On the same day the Cardinals put their second starting pitcher in a week on the disabled list, the first sub up from Class AAA, lefty John Gast, won his second game in as many starts. Filling in for Jake Westbrook (elbow), Gast pitched 5 1/3 solid innings Sunday as the Cardinals struck early and held on for a 4-2 victory against Milwaukee at Busch Stadium. Hours earlier the team put Jaime Garcia (shoulder) on the disabled list and announced prospect Tyler Lyons will start in Garcia's place Wednesday. The rotation begins an eight- game road trip tonight with three rookies, two of whom didn't start the year on the 40-man roster.

The three prospects are expected to keep pace, not just run in place.

"You never know what you're going to get when you bring a guy up in this situation," manager Mike Matheny said. "You don't see them rattle. You don't see much of anything except making pitches."

Gast improved to 2-0 by outpitching former Cardinals starter Kyle Lohse. The Cardinals peppered Lohse with four consecutive RBI base hits in the fourth inning for all the runs they needed. Lohse (1-5) lost three times all of last season with the Cardinals. He's lost three times already this season to the Cardinals.

And all three have been games won by a Cardinals rookie.

A single by Carlos Beltran opened the fourth inning against Lohse, and a squeeze bunt by Pete Kozma brought home Jon Jay to cap the scoring.

In between, an RBI single by Yadier Molina that squeaked through and a double by Jay fueled the rally. Lohse's frustrations followed.

With two runners on, Gast batted in a textbook bunt situation. The rookie squared to bunt but pulled the bat back as if to slash at the pitch. It is a move the Cardinals' dugout signals when a third baseman is rushing in and a double play is possible. Rookie Shelby Miller attempted to do it against Lohse during their previous duels. Lohse appeared to be irked by the ploy. He threw three consecutive pitches inside on Gast, who ultimately bunted into an out.

Lohse, who won 55 games in five seasons with the Cardinals, then approached third base coach Jose Oquendo with some pointed words. …

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