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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Izturis is injured

MILWAUKEE — The Cardinals will activate infielder Brendan Ryan in time for tonight's game against the Pittsburgh Pirates after shortstop Cesar Izturis suffered a severe contusion when struck by a pitch below his right elbow during Tuesday's ninth inning.

X-rays of Izturis' arm proved negative, but a compressed nerve caused him to lose feeling. The Cardinals do not expect him to be available for tonight's series opener, but general manager John Mozeliak remained optimistic the club would not have to use the disabled list.

"I would anticipate we would make a move," Mozeliak said after Tuesday's marathon 9-8 loss. "But anything more than that, I can't say."

To make room for Ryan, the club is expected to option reliever Brad Thompson to Class AAA Memphis. Thompson surrendered four runs during an eventful sixth inning Tuesday. He has one option remaining and could be moved to the Memphis rotation.

Thompson has allowed six runs in 4 2/3 innings since being removed from the rotation after two starts to make room for Joel Pineiro. Thompson has a long-held preference for starting, but that role appears closed with the pending return of Mark Mulder.

Ryan entered Tuesday 10 for 31 (.323) with seven RBIs in seven minor-league games. He was seven for 19 with three doubles, a home run and three RBIs in his first four games at Class AA Springfield.

Earlier this week manager Tony La Russa and Mozeliak suggested Ryan may have to wait several more days to be activated. But that was before Eric Gagne's two-strike pitch found Izturis and forced the issue.


Russ Springer showed no rust in his first appearance since enduring a stay on the disabled list with an inflamed nerve.

Springer struck out the first batter he faced, third baseman Bill Hall, before allowing an opposite field double to right fielder Gabe Gross, then a fly out and grounder to short.

Springer, 39, had not worked since April 4, when he allowed three runs without getting an out against the Washington Nationals.

Springer is likely to be called upon again tonight as fellow righthanders Kyle McClellan and Ryan Franklin threw 26 and 31 pitches, respectively, Tuesday.


Sunday's 8-2 loss to the San Francisco Giants was rather ordinary except for the extended relief appearances made by Ron Villone and Anthony Reyes. The game marked the first time since July 27, 1990 that two Cardinals relievers worked at least three innings apiece. That day, Frank DiPino and Scott Terry each worked three innings of a 10-1 loss started by Bryn Smith.


La Russa wasted no time making good on a suggestion he could employ starting pitchers as pinch hitters while playing short one position player. Adam Wainwright contributed a sacrifice fly during the Cardinals' four-run sixth inning Tuesday, less than 18 hours after lasting seven innings in his team's 4-3 win. Wainwright now has four hits, a sacrifice fly, a .636 slugging percentage and two RBIs in 12 plate appearances. Braden Looper delivered a sacrifice bunt in the 10th inning. ... Third baseman Troy Glaus contributed three hits, giving him six in the last three games. ... … Second baseman Aaron Miles' four-hit game was one shy of his career high but still lifted his average from .250 to .317. ... Tuesday's 12-inning game included 420 pitches thrown by 15 pitchers to 113 hitters.

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