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Lohse lousy in return vs. Cubs

St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Kyle Lohse reflects on his performance in the dugout after being removed in the fourth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on August 15, 2010. Lohse makes his first start in over three months due to arm surgery. Chicago won the game 9-7.  UPI/Bill Greenblatt Photo via Newscom

Pitcher Kyle Lohse made his first Major League start for the St. Louis Cardinals since May 22, due to a forearm injury that had been lingering since the 2009 season.

This was a critical game for St.Louis.  Box score

Lohse was trying to win the rubber match against the slumping Chicago Cubs to keep pace with the Cincinnati Reds atop the division.  He failed miserably.

Lohse said it himself, “Just wasn’t good today.”

Who could argue?  Three innings pitched, seven earned runs on six hits, which included two Derrek Lee homers.  Lee hit 16th off Lohse in the first inning, and his 17th homer in the third.  Both of which, were solo shots that landed in nearly the same place over the wall in center field.

St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa takes the baseball from starting pitcher Kyle Lohse in the fourth inning during a game against the Chicago Cubs at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on August 15, 2010. St. Louis lost the game 9-7.  UPI/Bill Greenblatt Photo via Newscom

Things got really out of hand for the Cardinals and Lohse in the fourth.  Lohse was pulled before recording an out, unable to stop the bleeding after a couple of bloop singles and a walk to load the bases.

Koyie Hill’s two-run double and starting pitcher Ryan Dempster’s RBI single was all she wrote for the right-hander.  Lohse’s ERA jumped to 6.79 after the outing.

Chicago scored six times in the frame and once more in the ninth to put themselves up 9-2 heading into the final half-inning.  St. Louis would rally for five runs, but still fall 9-7 and drop back in to second place behind Cincinnati who swept the Florida Marlins over the weekend.

A bright-side for the Cards, Albert Pujols continues to stay hot in August.  Pujols hit his 30th homer of the year in the first, making him the first player in the Major League history to hit at least 30 HRs in his first 10 seasons.

This was not the return St. Louis (65-51), or Kyle Loshe was hoping for; his next start is scheduled for Sunday at home against the San Francisco Giants and Barry Zito.

Before that, the Cards welcome the Milwaukee Brewers (55-64) in for a brief two-game series starting Tuesday at 8:15 PM ET.