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Ailing Cardinals ace to miss season opener

JUPITER — Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter won't start opening day after a setback in his recovery from a bulging disc in his neck.

The right-hander, 37, returned to St. Louis on Tuesday for tests. He threw live batting practice Sunday but didn't feel right the next day.

"He looked really good and felt good; the next day he just didn't respond like we had hoped," manager Mike Matheny said Wednesday. "His shoulder is just not responding and they're uncertain of the root of it. That's what they're trying to get to with tests on the neck and shoulder and trying to figure out where it's all coming from."

Right-hander Kyle Lohse will start April 4 at Miami in his place. Lohse was 14-8 with a 3.39 ERA last season, leading the Cardinals in wins and ERA.

"It's an honor," Lohse said. "But it comes meaning that Carp's not available; that's the tough part about it. I wish it were under different circumstances, but I'm proud to take the ball on opening day."

Right-hander Lance Lynn, a setup man, will take Carpenter's spot in the rotation.

OBITUARY: Mel Parnell, the left-handed pitcher who spent his entire 10-year career with the Red Sox and faced some of the best hitters of the 1940s and early 1950s, died Tuesday in New Orleans after a battle with cancer. He was 89. Mr. Parnell had a career record of 123-75 with a 3.50 ERA and holds the club record for left-handers in games started (232), innings (17522/3) and victories.

UECKER HONOR: The Brewers announced that long-time broadcaster Bob Uecker will be honored this summer with a statue outside Miller Park. The unveiling is scheduled for Aug. 31.

In other Brewers news, rightfielder Corey Hart, already sidelined after right knee surgery, hit himself on the head with the bar while lifting weights and needed eight stitches. Also, right-hander Shaun Marcum, sidelined by shoulder soreness, threw two innings in a minor-league game and said he expects to be ready for the regular season.

A'S: Third baseman Scott Sizemore had surgery on his left knee to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament and is expected to be ready for the start of spring training next year.

MARINERS: Manager Eric Wedge announced that right-hander Kevin Millwood, 37, will be the team's fifth starter, beating out Japanese right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma. … Right-handed reliever Shawn Camp, a former Ray, was released.

NATIONALS: Right-hander Stephen Strasburg was named the opening day starter.

ORIOLES: Left-hander Zach Britton will not need surgery on his ailing left shoulder, but a process to help lessen the inflammation could sideline him for up to six weeks.

ROYALS: Closer Joakim Soria will take a few days to consider his options after receiving a second opinion on his elbow injury. The right-hander has damage to the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow. He had reconstructive surgery in 2003 to replace the same ligament.

Ailing Cardinals ace to miss season opener 03/21/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 9:47pm]
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