Lynn wins eighth game of season; Molina appeals suspension

News-DemocratJune 3, 2013 

— Lance Lynn is making sure he doesn't get overlooked in the hype surrounding younger teammates Shelby Miller and Michael Wacha.

Lynn improved to 8-1 on Monday in the St. Louis Cardinals' 7-1 victory Arizona. He allowed one run on five hits in seven innings, with one walk and six strikeouts.

The second-year member of the rotation could be on his way to another All-Star berth.

"He's the same guy we saw last year," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "It's not like it's a night-and-day difference. Last year, he was the young guy. We saw him make quality starts. He's a horse. He just wants to take the ball and go.

"I don't think (attention given to Miller and Wacha) bothers him a little. I think it's good for him. Plenty of attention will come later. There's healthy competition, but there's not a jealousy. It's not what they're all about."

Lynn didn't want to leave the game after seven.

"That's part of it," he said. "You never want to come out of the game, even when you're doing bad. You think you can do better. That's part of being a competitor."

Lynn said he felt in control from the start. He allowed just two hits in his final five innings, with Arizona's lone run coming on an infield out in the sixth.

"I was able to make some pitches," Lynn said. "Yadi (Molina) and I were working together really well. I started to find a rhythm. I had a little hiccup in the fifth, but other than that, I threw the ball well."

One game for Molina

Molina received a one-game suspension and an undisclosed fine Monday for making contact with second-base umpire Mike Everitt in the third inning of the Cardinals' 4-2 loss to San Francisco on Sunday.

Molina's suspension was announced by Joe Garagiola Jr., the senior vice president of standards and operations for Major League Baseball.

Molina opted to appeal the decision, which will enable him to continue playing until the case is re-evaluated. Molina was 2-for-4 with a homer and two RBIs in the win Monday, lifting his average to an NL-leading .350.

"That's pretty good," Matheny said. "He's taking great at-bats. He's just a good hitter. He's an incredibly motivated person. He wanted to be able to do what he does behind the plate on a daily basis and also be a major contributor on the offensive side."

Matheny said he and Molina discussed the suspension before the game and Molina also talked to his representative, Melvin Roman.

"They felt comfortable at that point with filing the protest against it," Matheny said. "It's tough to figure that stuff out. But I think in time, it will all clear up."

Molina was thrown out at first base on a close play Sunday, igniting the ejection and subsequent suspension. Molina slammed his helmet to the turf and was promptly tossed by first-base umpire Clint Fagen.

Molina blew up with rage after the ejection and had to be restrained by his brother, Bengie, who was coaching first base. Everitt interceded and Molina bumped into him as he tried to get to Fagen, a replacement umpire.

Matheny on Monday reiterated that he found no fault with Yadier Molina, who he claimed acted in frustration about being robbed of an RBI single by slick-fielding Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford.

"It really wasn't (about) controlling his emotions; that wasn't the issue," Matheny said. "That's not what caused it. It was frustration. Coming out of the box, he thought the ball was through (the infield), he had a base hit and we had another guy in scoring position.

"That's part of Yadi's greatness: his intensity and passion for the game --and for winning. That's all that play was about. It's not his stats. It's not about anything else except for us getting one run closer to catching up."

Kelly to start

Joe Kelly will get the start Wednesday night against Arizona. The Cardinals needed an extra starter because of the doubleheader Saturday against San Francisco.

Shelby Miller was scheduled to pitch Friday in the rained-out game against the Giants, so his start was pushed back to Saturday.

"With extended rest, he should be good to go," Matheny said of Kelly, who hasn't pitched since Thursday.

Kelly will be the ninth Cardinals pitcher to make a start this season.

Miller will pitch the series finale against Arizona on Thursday, followed by Adam Wainwright on Friday in Cincinnati.

On the farm

Second baseman Kolten Wong was honored as the Cardinals' Minor-League Player of the month for May. Lefty reliever Kevin Siegrist was named the organizational Pitcher of the Month.

Wong, 22, batted .375 (39-for-104) with four home runs and eight RBIs at Class AAA Memphis. The Cardinals' No. 1 draft pick in 2011 put together a 15-game hitting streak from May 6-27, batting .429 during the stretch.

"Kolten had a tremendously consistent month with the bat, while also continuing to play good defense at second base," said John Vuch, the Cardinals' director of minor league operations. "He's been a big part of the success that Memphis has had this season."

Siegrist, 23, did not allow an earned run during nine relief appearances, splitting time between Class AA Springfield and Memphis. He was 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA, allowing four hits and six walks while striking out 21 in 13 2/3 innings.

Siegrist has held left-handed hitters to a .103 average this season (3-for-29) with 19 strikeouts.

"Kevin has been extraordinarily tough on lefties this year and has adapted very well to changing his role to a reliever," Vuch said.

Contact reporter David Wilhelm at dwilhelm@bnd.com or 239-2665.

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