--C Yadier Molina has joined the NL's batting leaders at .333 after going 15 for his last 26, including 4-for-5 with three RBI on Sunday. Many of his hits have been to the opposite field. "Yadi's a middle to right-center kind of hitter," hitting coach Mark McGwire said. "And if he accidentally turns on a ball and pulls it, that's perfect. He's good. And, on top of it, damn, catching and getting beat up by all the one-hop pitches, it's just amazing what he's doing, playing day in and day out. It's pretty awesome."
--LHP Jaime Garcia, who entered the day 5-0 with a big-league-leading 1.64 ERA, was pulled with nobody out in the sixth inning. The Cardinals led 7-3 after he had given up a homer to Royals RF Jeff Francouer. He didn't get the win. Garcia had averaged eight innings over his previous three starts, giving up a total of one earned run, but manager Tony La Russa said he thought Garcia "was really fighting it." Garcia disagreed with La Russa's assessment, but pitching coach Dave Duncan said, "(Garcia) wasn't at his best. And then he flattened out a little. Maybe he got a little careless with a 7-1 lead. He can't do that. He's got to use that as a learning experience."
--DH Matt Holliday, who wasn't playing the outfield in Kansas City because he was nursing a tight left quadriceps, felt a tug in the same area while he was running Sunday, and he came out in the fifth inning. He is doubtful for Monday's game in San Diego.
--SS Ryan Theriot was held out because he was sick, either because of the flu or food poisoning.
--Rookie SS Peter Kozma made his first major league start, and 2B Allen Craig played strong defense and also hit a homer. It was a keystone combination manager Tony La Russa probably never thought he would use, but he said, "I'm a one-day-at-a-time guy."
--2B Skip Schumaker (right triceps strain) has been rehabbing in extended spring training in Jupiter, Fla. Schumaker is progressing, but there is no timetable for his return, according to manager Tony La Russa. It is likely, though, that Schumaker will meet up with the club sometime during the extension of the road trip that takes the Cardinals to San Diego and Colorado.
--1B Albert Pujols, though he had two singles -- one an infield hit -- failed to hit a home run, extending his homer drought to a career-long 103 at-bats. After lining a ball to right for an out in the sixth inning, Pujols kicked the air in apparent frustration as he rounded first.
--RF Lance Berkman, who missed the previous three games due to a sore right wrist, returned to the lineup Sunday. He went 0-for-4 with two walks.
BY THE NUMBERS
0 -- Home games pitched in May by RHP Ryan Franklin, the former closer.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"You never really have a completely happy day managing. Ever. I was told that as a young guy, and I've never really had one completely happy day. There's always something that messes with it." -- Manager Tony La Russa, after his team won 9-8 but lost C Gerald Laird with a broken finger Sunday.
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