Notes: Rolen making teams pay

Notes: Rolen making teams pay

ST. LOUIS -- Before Scott Rolen made headlines in an unwelcome way on Friday night, he was well on his way to being the star of the contest.

Friday marked the second game in a row that Rolen delivered a run-scoring double following an intentional walk to Albert Pujols. Rolen, who has been hitting for average all year, has picked up his power in recent weeks -- he has an extra-base hit in each of the past three games, and 10 in his past 12 contests.

Rolen had 13 RBIs on May 12. Since then, he has 17. Teams are still pitching around Pujols, and in fact walking him intentionally more and more often. But Rolen is making them pay for the decision.

"I don't know if there's a stat for 'after Albert,'" he said. "I look at it as an at-bat with runners on base or in scoring position, and how he got there doesn't really matter."

For the record, Rolen is 2-for-5 when he's the next batter after an IBB to Pujols this year.

Carp for Tuesday: Quietly, the Cardinals have named Chris Carpenter their scheduled starter for Tuesday's game against the Reds at Busch Stadium. Carpenter last pitched May 19. He was scratched from a scheduled start on May 24 in San Francisco due to bursitis below his right shoulder and has not pitched in a game since.

Edmonds non-update: Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said Saturday that there's very little news regarding center fielder Jim Edmonds, who is sidelined with a strained lower abdominal wall. Edmonds has not played since Sunday in San Diego, but the club still has not placed him on the disabled list. He is not available to play, however.

"I think he's just on paper on the active list," La Russa said. "I don't consider him active for the game."

That leaves the Cardinals with 23 available players, because Scott Spiezio is also not able to play. Spiezio has an upper respiratory infection, recently described by head athletic trainer Barry Weinberg as pharyngitis. The utilityman has not been at the ballpark for several days as he recovers from the illness.

Still, despite being short of bodies, the Cardinals have chosen not to place either man on the disabled list. That leaves them with a 23-man roster and puts them at the mercy of another long game.

"That's two weeks," La Russa said, when asked about placing Spiezio on the injured list. "I don't know that we want to do that. Unless somebody says that he's going to be weakened for another week or so."

Who would pitch? La Russa was asked Saturday who his pitcher would have been if Friday night's game had gone to a 15th inning. Josh Hancock, the final available reliever, was removed for a pinch-hitter in the 14th.

"If we'd tied it, I'd have pitched Rolen," he said, giving what can only be called a hard-to-believe answer. "I've seen him, he sinks it, he throws a cutter, he's got a knuckleball."

One option would have been Gary Bennett, who pinch-hit for Hancock. Bennett said he once pitched in the Minors, and that he throws a decent knuckle-curve.

Bits and pieces: Saturday was a "Jerseys Off Their Backs" fundraiser day for Cardinals Care. ... Aaron Miles got the start at second base on Saturday with Hector Luna in left field, as La Russa chose to have Miles in the lineup against a left-handed pitcher rather than one of his lefty-swinging outfielders. Miles was 11-for-24 against southpaws this year, entering Saturday's game.

This date in Cardinals history: One year ago Saturday, the Cardinals won a memorable game over the Astros at Minute Maid Park. Carpenter pitched eight innings in a 2-0 St. Louis win over Houston. Edmonds hit an RBI double in the third, and Pujols added a solo home run in the ninth.

Baby 'Birds: Triple-A Memphis rallied for an 8-7 win over Round Rock in 10 innings on Friday night. Pitcher Travis Smith capped off a wild night with an RBI groundout in the 10th for the game-winner. Smith actually played two innings in right field. ... Double-A Springfield was shut down by Frisco and top prospect John Danks, losing by a 5-1 score. Rico Washington had a double and an RBI. Mike Parisi struck out six and didn't issue a walk, but gave up three runs on eight hits with two home runs for the loss. ... Chris Narveson took another encouraging step forward in his injury rehab, pitching six effective innings for Class A Palm Beach in a 6-2 win over Dunedin. Narveson allowed two runs on two hits, struck out three and didn't walk anyone. Joe Mather went 3-for-4. ... Randy Roth hit a ninth-inning home run to force extra innings, and Jose Martinez hit a game-winning RBI single in the 11th as Quad Cities beat West Michigan, 4-3.

The player of the day is Roth, who went 2-for-4 with a double, the aforementioned home run and a walk. He's hitting .309 with a Midwest League-leading 12 home runs, as well as 15 doubles. Roth, 24, was the Cardinals' 10th-round pick in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft.

Coming up: The Cards and Cubs wrap up their three-game weekend series on Sunday at 1:15 p.m. CT. Jason Marquis will try to make it five straight wins when he takes the mound for the home club, while Greg Maddux will start for Chicago.

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