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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Schumaker back leading off as La Russa shuffles lineup

His club having lost six of its last 10 games, manager Tony La Russa will break out yet another new lineup tonight, with second baseman Adam Kennedy hitting second for the first time this season and left fielder Chris Duncan dropped to sixth. Manager Tony La Russa said it gave the lineup some better balance, with more power down the line in Duncan although La Russa indicated that he wasn’t necessarily going to stay long with this format.

"The ‘thump’ is spread out a little bit more," said La Russa, who said he still would prefer a power hitter batting second.

The experiment of Ryan Ludwick hitting leadoff may be over for a while after Ludwick fanned four times in five hitless at-bats on Monday.

"He took a lot of strikes for the type of hitter he is," said La Russa.

Ludwick concurred. "Last night, I was taking the good pitches to hit and I was swinging at the (tough) pitches," Ludwick said.

"It was one of the weirdest nights I ever had. I looked really good two weeks ago and to go from there to (Monday) night. . . it was almost like I had no clue. It’s one of those games you just flush down the toilet and get on with it.

"The worst thing is that we lose by one run and I do absolutely nothing. If I could drawn a walk or reach base on an error. . . "

Ludwick said the first thing he did when he got home was to call his brother, Eric, a former major league pitcher who was with the Cardinals in 1996-97. Ludwick said the advice his older brother gave him was that he had to be more selective when he swung.

Skip Schumaker will be at his normal leadoff spot again tonight and La Russa joked, "I thought it was the ultimate kind of teammate gesture (by Ludwick). Skip wasn’t playing and (Ludwick) did so poorly that I would never keep Skip out of there again."

Tonight's Lineups:

Schumaker rf
Kennedy 2b
Pujols 1b
Ankiel cf
Glaus 3b
Duncan lf
Molina c
Pineiro p
Izturis ss

Patterson cf
Keppinger ss
Griffey Jr. rf
Phillips 2b
Dunn lf
Encarnacion 3b
Votto 1b
Bako c
Cueto p

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