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Lohse pitches well in rehab, Craig stays hot

Rehabbing starter Kyle Lohse made his first appearance with Class AAA Memphis Tuesday night and pitched fairly well.

He threw three innings and allowed a pair of hits and a pair of runs, but only one of them was earned. He struck out three and walked none before departing after 43 pitches -- 29 of them strikes. Opponents are batting .154 off of Lohse after the start and his ERA stands at 3.00.

Lohse had been out of action since May 22 when he got bombed by the Angels and admitted his right forearm, which had been hit by a line drive in early 2009, still wasn't feeling right. Lohse had surgery to loosen the muscle sheath in his forearm to relieve discomfort and expand his range of motion. The surgery is believed to never have been done on a major league pitcher before.

No word has been given yet on how many rehab starts Lohse will make or when he might return to the Cardinals rotation. It seems that the team is playing it by ear at this point.

"I need to make sure I'm ready," Lohse told after the appearance. "I'm not going to rush it, but everything felt good. I felt like I could keep going. It wasn't like I went out and got tired."

Allen Craig has apparently taken his latest demotion to the minors well. He's 5-for-11 (.455) with two doubles and four RBIs since reporting back to Class AAA.

Craig was shipped out when Ryan Ludwick came off the disabled list so he could play every day in the minors. Overall, he's hitting .314 with 11 homers and 69 RBIs for Memphis this season. He's hitting .139 with one homer and six RBIs in the majors. But he hit a lot better in his latest call up when he was able to play on a relatively regular basis. He struggled earlier in the year when he almost exclusively worked as a pinch hitter -- something that can be difficult for an experience batsman, much less a rookie.