Lohse, Furcal, Freese and Berkman among hot Cards

8:41 AM, Apr 11, 2012   |    comments
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(The Chirp) -- Season starter Kyle Lohse, becoming the first starter to win two games, continued the mastery of Cardinals' starting pitchers. Through six games, covering 38 2/3 innings, the St. Louis rotation has permitted just 19 hits and eight earned runs.

Shortstop Rafael Furcal, one of the Cardinals' hottest hitters so far, got most of a night off before a day game on Wednesday. Furcal, however, entered the game in the eighth inning as a pinch runner and stayed in at shortstop.

Third baseman David Freese, with a home run and a single, extended his hitting streak to six games (12-for-26) with a sixth-inning homer and eighth-inning single. His homer was the Cardinals' 11th of the season. "It's the effect of good swings," said Freese. "You try to hit line drives and if you get a little extension, they're going to go."

First baseman Lance Berkman came out of the game in the eighth inning for a pinch runner because of tightness in his left calf. He appeared to have hurt himself running out a triple in his previous at-bat. "He was getting after it pretty good (on the triple)," said manager Mike Matheny. "I wouldn't doubt that was it." With a day game on Wednesday and a day off on Thursday, Berkman can get two days off if he sits out the finale of the series.

BY THE NUMBERS: 10 -- Cardinals pitchers retired the final 10 hitters they faced on Tuesday.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "They talk a lot of smack to each other about their starts. (Kyle) Lohse set the bar high for these guys to follow." -- Manager Mike Matheny, on his starting pitching, with RHP Kyle Lohse, who pitched the first game of the season, having provided the tone with two excellent starts.

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