Carpenter explained that he first felt discomfort in the area even before his last start, when he walked six and allowed six runs in Kansas City. He was feeling better this week, but encountered more soreness on Tuesday night during the Cardinals' win over San Francisco.
"Yesterday, I went out to play catch, and I started feeling it again," he said. "As the game progressed after playing catch, I was getting stiffer and feeling worse, so I said something to Barry [Weinberg, Cardinals head athletic trainer], and we talked about what we wanted to do."
La Russa emphasized that the condition is unrelated to the back stiffness that bothered Carpenter earlier this season.
"It's a different area," the manager said. "That's important. We think it's important."
All right: Facing Giants left-hander Noah Lowry, La Russa trotted out a lineup with no left-handed hitters. Lowry dominated lefties in 2005, holding them to a .203 average, .307 on-base percentage and .309 slugging percentage. As a result, the Cards started eight right-handed hitters and switch-hitter Scott Spiezio.
Hector Luna got the call at second base, with So Taguchi taking Jim Edmonds' spot in center field. Spiezio made his second consecutive start in left field.
This date in Cardinals history: On May 24, 1998, the Cardinals lost a wild game against the Giants, 9-6, at Busch Stadium. The game lasted 17 innings and featured home runs by Mark McGwire, Jeff Kent and Barry Bonds, yet the winning runs scored on an error on a sacrifice attempt in the top of the 17th. Willie McGee went 4-for-8 for St. Louis. Thanks to Project Retrosheet for the information.
Baby 'Birds: Triple-A Memphis saw a late lead get away in a 5-2 loss to Tacoma on Tuesday night. Skip Schumaker extended his hitting streak with a double, and John Webb pitched 7 1/3 excellent innings (six hits, two earned runs, eight strikeouts, no walks). ... Cody Haerther hit his first home run since April 24 as Double-A Springfield beat Midland, 9-7. Six different players drove in at least one run for Springfield. ... Class A Palm Beach lost a tough one, 7-6, in 11 innings to Sarasota. Ryan Barthelemy had a homer among his three hits. ... Colby Rasmus doubled and A.J. Van Slyke had two hits for Class A Quad Cities, which lost to Clinton, 4-2.
Haerther is the player of the day as he showed signs of breaking out of a lengthy slump. After a superb start to the year, he started May in a 4-for-43 funk. In addition to his homer, Haerther tripled and drove in three runs. He's hitting .227/.303/.414 on the year.
Coming up: After an off-day, the Cardinals open a weekend series in San Diego on Friday. Jeff Suppan will pitch for St. Louis against San Diego's Clay Hensley. First pitch is set for 9:05 p.m. CT.