Kyle Lohse pitched six excellent innings of one hit ball Monday against the Braves on a perfect day for baseball in Jupiter.
The game ended in a 1-1 tie after ten innings. But the slumbering bats and the relay play during which Ryan Theriot kicked the ball into the Atlanta dugout to allow the Braves to tie the game were much less consequential than Lohse's dominant game.
Lohse struck out four and walked none. The only hit he surrendered was a blooper down the left field line and the only hard hit ball he gave up was an opposite field shot off the lefthanded bat of Chipper Jones to David Freese at third base.
While nine of the 11 outs he got on balls put in play were flies, none of them were hit especially hard. They were lazy flies, pop ups or flairs.
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Matt Holliday scored the only Cardinals run, sending himself of a trip around the bases with a homer off of Atlanta hurler Kenshin Kawakami in the sixth inning.
Cardinals Play of the Game: Matt Holliday's sliding catch in the third inning to rob Atlanta of a cheap hit on a flair over the shortstop.
Lowlight: Ryan Theriot robbed Lohse of a win in the seventh inning when an Atlanta runner stopped at third on Chipper Jones' double off of Brian Tallett. Holliday got the ball in and the runner was headed back to third when Theriot booted it into the Atlanta dugout to allow one run to score and the potential go-ahead run to go to third. But the Birds' pitchers got out of the jam to prevent more than one unearned run.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Lohse with his consistent and efficient six innings of work. I've said it before, if the Cardinals are going to overcome the loss of Adam Wainwright, Lohse is going to have to come up huge. He is the most likely guy on the Cardinals roster to win 15 games in Wainwright's place. But he has to be healthy and pitch like he did in 2008.