Jason Motte (30) throws during the ninth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Cardinals won 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
(The Chirp) -- RHP Jason Motte gained his 36th save, helped by good defensive plays from CF Jon Jay and 3B David Freese in the ninth. In the eighth, LHP Marc Rzepczynski had relieved RHP Mitchell Boggs to pitch out of a two-on, two-out spot as RF Shane Robinson made a good running catch to end the inning. Robinson said he had acted on a tip from Jay during the pitching change to be aware for Houston SS Jed Lowrie trying to take a breaking ball the other way.
RHP Jake Westbrook, who has been out 10 days with a strained right oblique, will throw a bullpen session on Wednesday night and said he could be ready to return a week from now. "I missed a week of throwing, so I just need to get my arm in shape to start a game," said Westbrook, although manager Mike Matheny said he didn't have a timetable for Westbrook's return.
RHP Chris Carpenter's first start of the season, after nearly a year-long struggle with a nerve condition that affected his right shoulder and necessitated surgery, will be Friday in Chicago's Wrigley Field, where his third and last start of the 2008 season, after a lengthy rehab for an elbow problem, took place on Aug. 10 of that year. Asked if there would be added intensity for him in this stretch-drive start, Carpenter replied, "I've pitched in plenty of games that mattered. I'm going out there with the same focus."
With RHP Chris Carpenter returning to action, RHP Jake Westbrook reasonably near and RHP Lance Lynn impressive last week in Los Angeles, RHP Joe Kelly, out of the rotation for now, might well finish the regular season as a reliever. Kelly has a 5-6 record and 3.60 earned run average for 18 games, 16 of them starts and most of them quality starts. "He'll always be in play," said manager Mike Matheny, "just like before when we put him in the bullpen. It's a nice problem of having multiple guys who can step in and start or come out of the pen."
SS Rafael Furcal still is on the disabled list with a torn ligament in his right elbow and, though Furcal has begun strengthening exercises, manager Mike Matheny said he was awaiting information from the medical staff if Furcal would be available for any kind of service as a pinch hitter or runner.