Cardinals’ starter Joel Pineiro pitched one of his better games this season at one point retiring 16 straight Tigers, but a rough first inning did in the Cardinals as they could not pull off the sweep losing to Detroit 6-3 Thursday night at Busch Stadium.
Pineiro gave up four runs in the first with only one of those runs earned, but then settled in before leaving after the seventh inning. On a hot and muggy night, Pineiro had to be carried off the field after a leg cramp. Curtis Granderson and Placido Polanco both got on to start the game and an error by third baseman Joe Thurston scored Granderson and put runners at the corners. A groundout scored Polanco from third before Brandon Inge and catcher Gerald Laird followed with RBI singles to make it 4-0.
Manager Tony LaRussa thought the Cardinals left too many opportunities on the field. After the Cards cut the lead to 4-3, Jason Motte had trouble locating pitches in the eighth and the Tigers scored two more runs. After Fernando Rodney walked the bases loaded in the ninth, St. Louis could not take advantage of the free passes.