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Bullpen comes up big for Cardinals

ST. LOUIS — Albert Pujols hit an RBI double during a four-run first inning and the St. Louis bullpen bailed out Chris Carpenter as the Cardinals beat the Brewers 4-3 Wednesday night for a 2-1 edge in the NL Championship Series.

In a matchup of aces, neither Carpenter nor 17-game Yovani Gallardo made it past the fifth. The one-run lead that Carpenter handed over was just enough, as four relievers combined for four perfect innings.

Unfazed by wait

ST. LOUIS — Kyle Lohse starts Game 4 tonight for the wild-card Cardinals against Randy Wolf.

Lohse thinks pitching on 12 days' rest should not be a problem.

The right-hander hasn't pitched since the opener of the NL Division Series in Philadelphia on Oct. 1. He failed to hold an early 3-0 lead in that game, giving up six runs, five earned, in 51/3 innings of an 11-6 loss.

Lohse's turn didn't come up again in the NLDS, and Cardinals manager Tony La Russa opted to go with Jaime Garcia and former Ray Edwin Jackson in the first two games of the NLCS in Milwaukee and Carpenter in Game 3.

Lohse has some experience with long layoffs this season, with mostly good results. He went from July 8-19 without a start, returning with a 4-2 loss to the Mets in which he gave up four earned runs in 52/3 innings.

He had an extended gap from Aug. 4-12, then gave up one earned run in 61/3 innings in a 6-1 win over Colorado. And he returned after eight days off on Sept. 6 to pitch six shutout innings in a 4-2 win over the Brewers.

"I've been able to deal with it pretty well," Lohse said.

He acknowledged things were a little different this time because he was available in the bullpen in the final games of the series with the Phillies.

"But I've just tried to stay sharp, throwing flat grounds," Lohse said. "I'm doing everything I can to keep myself mentally prepared, and that's about all you can do."

Lohse has plenty of postseason experience but is still seeking his first win. He is 0-3 with a 4.82 ERA in Division Series.

Cardinals 2,

Brewers 1

Game 1: Brewers 9, Cardinals 6

Game 2: Cardinals 12, Brewers 3

Wednesday: Cards 4, Brewers 3

Tonight, 8:05: Brewers (Wolf, 13-10, 3.69) at Cardinals (Lohse, 14-8, 3.39)

Friday, 8:05: Brewers (Greinke, 16-6, 3.83) at Cardinals (Garcia, 13-7, 3.56)

Sunday, 4:05: Cardinals (TBA) at Brewers (TBA) *

Monday, 8:05: Cardinals (TBA) at Brewers (TBA) *

* If necessary; all games on TBS

Bullpen comes up big for Cardinals 10/12/11 [Last modified: Thursday, October 13, 2011 4:07pm]
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