video thumbnail

Lohse fans four over seven against Dodgers

When the Rockies and the Cardinals take the field Tuesday night, the same day as the non-waiver Trade Deadline, there may be some new faces in the lineup.

The Rockies have already been active this year, making three trades, one as recently as Friday, when they shipped Marco Scutaro to the Giants for infield prospect Charlie Culberson.

The club may not be done yet as it strives for a new, younger era in Colorado, with closer Rafael Betancourt, 37, and backup catcher Ramon Hernandez, 36, as two possible departures.

"There's an understanding amongst our veteran players that this is a business," manager Jim Tracy said. "There's certain things that have to be done."

On the other hand, St. Louis has yet to make a trade this season.

With the Cardinals' offense still tops in the National League and the club still in striking distance of a postseason berth, St. Louis is possibly in the market to bolster its rotation and bullpen.

The Cardinals' front office has quieted some talks about a possible Deadline move for a starting pitcher due to the recent performance by the rotation.

St. Louis has had its starter last at least six innings every game in July with just one exception Friday, when Lance Lynn lasted five innings in the Cardinals' 9-6 win against the Cubs.

"Our starters have been great," general manager John Mozeliak said last week. "I think clearly it takes a little pressure off, in terms of feeling like we have to do something. If you were to go after a starter, who are you really bouncing out? And how are you improving? That's why I don't think the urgency is quite there for rotational help as maybe it was, say, three or four weeks ago."

The Cardinals are also holding out hope for a mid-August return by lefty Jamie Garcia.

For now, the rotation is set as is with Kyle Lohse slated to take the mound Tuesday after Monday's off-day.

Lohse (10-2, 2.71 ERA) held the Dodgers to two runs Wednesday, marking his 10th straight quality start. He's been the strongest Cardinals starter this season and hasn't lost since June 15.

He'll face southpaw Jeff Francis, who is also coming off a solid win Wednesday against Arizona, giving up two runs on five hits in six innings.

Francis (3-2, 4.97 ERA) has given up more than three runs in just three of his 10 starts.

Cardinals: Furcal dealing with back stiffness
• Cardinals shortstop Rafael Furcal missed both games Saturday and Sunday, and the club has him listed as day to day.

Manager Mike Matheny described his shortstop as "a little banged up right now," citing stiffness in his lower back as the specific cause of concern.

With Monday's off-day, Matheny hopes the extra day of rest will help the three-time All-Star with his return.

"We have to keep paying attention to it to see if it loosens up again over the next couple days," Matheny said. "We'll see how that plays out."

Furcal is batting .272 with five homers and 42 RBIs.

• Cardinals center fielder Carlos Beltran may have finally snapped his struggles Sunday, recording his first hit in 14 at-bats when he homered off Shawn Camp in the eighth inning against the Cubs.

Beltran was hitless in his past 13 at-bats before the home run, lowering his season average to .282.

He is batting .204 with just 11 hits since the All-Star break, and St. Louis is 8-8 in that stretch.

Rockies: LeMahieu looks to make most of opportunity
Rockies second baseman DJ LeMahieu may only be in the big leagues for a limited time, so he's striving to make the most of the time he does have.

LeMahieu was recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs on July 17, marking his second stint with the club this season.

When the Rockies traded Marco Scutaro on Friday night, the doors opened for LeMahieu to make his impact.

"You want to do everything you can to stay up here," LeMahieu said. "I adjusted a few things [with my swing] in the Minors, but nothing major. I'm just playing within myself."

LeMahieu tallied a career-high three hits, including a double, on Saturday, raising his average to .269.

He didn't have as successful a game Sunday, going 0-for-2, but he has recorded six hits and three doubles in his past five starts.

"We need to see DJ on a consistent basis," said Tracy.

Worth noting
• The Cardinals took three out of four from the Rockies in a series at Busch Stadium earlier this month, holding them to three runs or fewer in all four contests.

• Jeff Francis is 6-1 with a 3.09 ERA lifetime against St. Louis. Comments