DETROIT — Lefthander Randy Flores has given up six runs and six walks over five innings in his past 10 appearances and hasn't retired a hitter in his last two outings. And to make room for the return of first baseman Albert Pujols, who served as the DH Thursday, Flores was placed on the disabled list with what the club called peroneal tendinitis in his left ankle.
Flores said he had been bothered by the ankle for several days after he had been running and that it had swelled on Wednesday. But he said that had nothing to do with how he has pitched lately.
"The few games I was ineffective, I was pitching a little too careful for the situation. It had nothing to do with my leg," said Flores, who has a 5.12 earned run average. "I just wasn't getting the job done."
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But pitching coach Dave Duncan said, "It's his push-off leg, and he said he was having trouble pushing off the rubber."
Manager Tony La Russa said Flores would have been out five to seven days anyway, but the club decided to put him on the DL even though he'll miss series against Kansas City and the New York Mets, both of which have lefthanded power in their lineup. Ron Villone is the only lefthander on the team's roster.
PUJOLS SERVES AS DH
After the two talked before the game, La Russa and Pujols decided that Pujols, recovered from a left calf strain, should be the designated hitter in his first game back from the disabled list. Pujols had four hits and an intentional walk in five plate appearances in that role.
"It was a decision that he made, and I went with it," said Pujols, whose preference had been to come back as a full-time first baseman. "Either way he went, it was fine."
Pujols said he hoped to play in the field in Kansas City this weekend, but that depended on if his legs felt as good as he said they did after Thursday's game.
"If I have to DH again, then I'll do it," he said. "No need to rush when you have the advantage of being the DH."
BOGGS, NOT MULDER
After watching a bullpen throwing session of lefthander Mark Mulder, who has had back spasms on top of his long recovery from two shoulder surgeries, La Russa has determined that rookie Mitchell Boggs will be the starter Saturday in Kansas City.
"He's not ready yet," La Russa said. "He made some good pitches and some that were up. Boggs will pitch."
The Cardinals were two for 11 with men in scoring position Thursday with Troy Glaus and Ryan Ludwick, the Nos. 4 and 5 hitters, 0 for six in those spots, with each going 0 for three. Glaus twice failed to get a runner home from third with under two out, and he hit into a double play to quell a ninth-inning rally.
"Opportunities abounded," Glaus said. "I'd rather have the opportunities than not. However, today was one of those days. We couldn't get that hit to drive in the guy in. We just couldn't get it done."
Righthander Todd Wellemeyer, making his first start in 13 days after suffering some renewed elbow inflammation, worked five shutout innings, giving up four hits among 76 pitches.
"It was good to get my elbow back where it needs to be," Wellemeyer said. "My arm was dropping, and everything was flat."