Cardinals go cold at the plate
BY R.B. FALLSTROM Associated Press
Monday, June 11, 2012
6/11/12 at 5:07 AM
ST. LOUIS - Carlos Beltran looked pretty good all weekend. The rest of the St. Louis Cardinals' hitters probably need their upcoming day off.
St. Louis left the bases loaded in the eighth on Sunday and closer Jason Motte yielded Jason Kipnis' tiebreaking three-run homer in the ninth, sending the Cardinals to a 4-1 loss to the Cleveland Indians.
"We had opportunities, especially right there in the eighth," manager Mike Matheny said. "We had a situation we wanted, the guys up there we wanted.
"Sometimes it works, sometimes it don't."
Beltran homered for the second straight day to increase his National League-leading total to 18, and Joe Kelly allowed one run in five-plus innings in his major league debut. St. Louis is the only major league team that has not won a series over the Indians, who are 14-6 overall and 8-4 on the road against the Cardinals.
Beltran was 6-for-11 in the series, and is batting .290 with 46 RBIs.
"Like I say, when I'm healthy I'm capable of doing a lot of good things in this game," Beltran said.
But Rafael Furcal was 0-for-11 in the series, Allen Craig was 1-for-11 and David Freese went 2-for-11. The Cardinals totaled five walks against 21 strikeouts.
Yadier Molina, who entered the game batting .357 with runners in scoring position, grounded out with a man on second to end the sixth and struck out with the bases loaded for the second out of the eighth. Craig then struck out to end the inning.
"Would I like to see us more consistent? There's no question," Matheny said. "Guys are grinding, they're fighting, and I'm going to continue to stay optimistic because that's what I believe.
"It's not some facade; I think it's only a matter of time before we take off, and I think those guys believe it, too."
Cleanup man Matt Holliday, who missed his second straight start with mid-back spasms, could return Tuesday against the White Sox.
"We're hopeful for Tuesday, especially with us carrying 13 pitchers," Matheny said. "We're in a spot if he's not."
Michael Brantley extended his hitting streak to 18 games and Ubaldo Jimenez had a season-best seven strikeouts in seven strong innings for Cleveland.
The Indians had scored just one run in 19 innings before the ninth, when pinch-hitter Johnny Damon hit a leadoff single and Asdrubal Cabrera walked with one out. Kipnis hit his 10th homer on a 2-2 pitch from Motte (3-3).
Chris Perez, who once competed with Motte for the St. Louis closer spot, finished for his 20th save in 21 chances. He has saved 20 in a row since opening day.