While the Cardinals staggered to a 34-47 road record last year, effectively curtailing their bid to win the National League Central title, they were fairly unbeatable at home. They posted a 52-29 record at Busch Stadium and won the first game of a home series 19 times out of 26.
This year in the early going, they are 10-6 on the road, but after a 6-5 defeat to the visiting Marlins on Monday night, they have lost the first game in four of their first five home series. Too small a sample size, according to manager Tony La Russa.
"These are the first days of May," La Russa said. "Why don't you wait until the All-Star break? If we had won every first game, you can't say anything about it that means anything for the season either. It means nothing at this point."
Right-hander Kyle Lohse survived a third-inning blast off his right shin by Florida's Mike Stanton and lasted six innings. Before Stanton's single off Lohse's leg, Lohse gave up a grand slam to Gaby Sanchez. Later, he gave up a third-deck homer to Stanton on a changeup on which Lohse estimated he missed his location by three feet.
Cardinals right fielder Lance Berkman had entered the game hitting .432 at home, but with no home runs and three RBI, compared to .375 with eight homers and 20 RBI on the road. But in his first two at-bats Monday, Berkman drove in four runs, three on his first homer at Busch.
"It doesn't matter to me," Berkman said. "If I hit 60 on the road and none at home, I'd take it."
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