After St. Louis manager Tony La Russa huddles briefly between innings with umpire supervisor Steve Palermo, Rogers returns to the mound for the second inning without the mysterious substance.
Rogers retired the next nine men and 18 of the next 20, not allowing another hit until Yadier Molina led off the eighth with a single. Did suspicion further steel Rogers, who had already been a pitcher on a postseason mission?
"It was a big clump of dirt and I wiped it off. I didn't know it was there, and they told me and I took it off, and it wasn't a big deal." -- Rogers
"There was a noticeable dirt mark of some sort on his left hand, and after the first inning, [plate umpire] Alfonso Marquez just asked Kenny to remove that dirt so there wouldn't be any question as far as any controversy." -- Palermo
"I wouldn't discuss that about someone who pitched like that. I wouldn't want to take anything away from anybody." -- La Russa
After Albert Pujols draws a two-out walk in the top of the first, Scott Rolen hits a grounder of average speed slightly to the left of Detroit third baseman Brandon Inge.
The decision: Inge takes a couple of sidesteps, then dives for the ball.
Inge's leap extends his glove hand too far; he tries to bring his hand back to the ball, which winds up kicking off the heel of his glove, as he rolls over the ball, which goes for an infield single. It is the last hit allowed by Rogers until Molina's single.
"There was nothing I could do about that. I went for the ball, just a reaction, and ended up smothering it." -- Inge, who couldn't even recall the play until goaded
Miles to go
Cardinals second baseman Ronnie Belliard, riding a 6-for-29 slump, has a lifetime 2-for-22 mark against Detroit starter Rogers. Meanwhile, La Russa has been looking for an excuse to get some at-bats for Aaron Miles, 3-for-5 off the bench during the playoffs.
Miles makes his first start of the postseason, inserted in the No. 9 hole against Rogers.
Miles goes hitless in three at-bats, two of them coming with two of the three men the Cardinals get on base after the first. With a man on first, he ends the fifth with a line drive back to the box. He follows Molina's leadoff eighth-inning single by grounding into a force.
"I've been looking to get Aaron in the game. He's got a chance to be very important to us in this series, and nothing [is] better than [being given] some at-bats. And then, the struggles that Ronnie's had against Rogers, that's hard to ignore." -- La Russa