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Card's outdone by Carlos Lee


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ST. LOUIS -- A team that counts defense and the back end of the bullpen as pillars of its success saw both falter on Thursday.

The Cardinals committed three errors and Jason Isringhausen allowed his second game-winning home run in five days as St. Louis fell to the Brewers, 4-3, in 11 innings at new Busch Stadium. It was an afternoon filled with frustration for the Cardinals, who also saw a potential game-winning home run erased on a great catch.

 

"We did a lot of really good things," said manager Tony La Russa. "We just made a couple mistakes that we couldn't overcome."

 

Carlos Lee cranked a solo home run off of Isringhausen in the top of the 11th to put Milwaukee ahead, prompting loud boos from the sellout crowd of 40,222. That overshadowed what was otherwise a positive day for the Cardinals bullpen, which pitched scoreless baseball from the seventh through the 10th.

 

"I know I've got good enough stuff to get people out," said Isringhausen. "It's about making good pitches, and I haven't been able to do that yet. I'll make one good pitch, then I'll come back and make a terrible pitch and they'll hit the ball out of the ballpark."

 

The defeat was St. Louis' first in its new ballpark. Jeff Suppan pitched well for the Redbirds, allowing one earned run on five hits over six innings. A pair of Jim Edmonds errors, however, cost Suppan and the Cardinals greatly. Fellow Gold Glover Scott Rolen was also charged with an error, and Suppan allowed a run on a wild pitch.

 

Edmonds' misplay in the second inning allowed Corey Koskie to advance an extra base on a one-out double. One batter later, Bill Hall lifted a sacrifice fly that scored Koskie, a run that would not have come across if not for the error.

 

The Cardinals tied the game in the third on Juan Encarnacion's RBI groundout -- the outfielder's first ribbie as a Redbird -- but missed a chance to add more. St. Louis had runners on second and third with one out and Encarnacion and Albert Pujols due up, but could only pick up the single tally.

 

Milwaukee took the lead again in the fifth, and once again an Edmonds miscue was in the middle of the rally. With men on first and second and two out, Brady Clark singled to center, scoring Chad Moeller. Doug Davis moved from first to third on the hit-miscue combo, and came home on a wild pitch.

 

"They were both the same," said Edmonds. "Obviously I'm not hitting the way I want, so I was trying to make a play on defense. One ball just bounced weird and I tried to jump up and catch it and it was just a weird situation. The ball in left field was just [a case of] knowing that the catcher was running and I tried to do too much and the ball snaked on me in the grass."

 

Suppan was lifted after escaping a bases-loaded threat in the sixth, but his thoughts turned to the jams he couldn't elude.

 

"We all make mistakes," Suppan said. "We all make errors. It's just a situation where we pick each other up. They've picked me up so many times, it's my job to go out there and pick them up. A couple times I gave up that run, but things happen. That's how it goes."

 

Still, after all that, Encarnacion came inches from turning a maddening day into a memorable one.

 

Encarnacion was robbed by Carlos Lee on a fly ball to deep left when Lee leapt and caught a ball that cleared the wall with room to spare. David Eckstein led off the 10th with a single. Edmonds followed two batters later with another ball that carried to the track, but once again Lee made the play.

 

"I had a chance," Edmonds said. "Carlos made a great play on Juan. I thought I hit the ball pretty good, but it just didn't go anywhere. I feel bad for Jeff. Jeff pitched a pretty good game, and two big errors, they scored two runs."

 

Had Encarnacion's ball reached the seats, Isringhausen would have been the winner for throwing just one pitch. Gary Bennett threw out Brady Clark attempting to steal to end the top of the 10th after Isringhausen was brought in as the third pitcher of the frame.

 

Adam Wainwright turned in three brilliant innings of relief. Wainwright allowed a single base hit, and that was on an excuse-me check swing by Prince Fielder. He did not walk a batter and struck out two.

 

Edmonds, an eight-time Gold Glover, committed two errors in the entire 2005 season. It was the first two-error game of his career.

 

Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

 

carlos lee has really improved since his day with the chi sox....probably an all-star again this year :thumbup

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