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Furcal is batting an impressive .353 so far

8:21 AM, Apr 19, 2012   |    comments
St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Rafael Furcal before game five of the 2011 World Series. (Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE)
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(The Chirp) -- Shortstop Rafael Furcal had two singles had two doubles, boosting his average to .353. "Sometimes you have a good day. Sometimes, you have a bad day. Today was one of the good ones," said Furcal, who has been working in batting practice on hitting the ball to the opposite field.

The Cardinals have beaten the National League Central Division rival Reds four times in five games. The Reds have led for only one inning out of 46, when they pushed across the winning run April 12. The Cardinals, by contrast, have led for 35 innings.

First baseman Lance Berkman will be sidelined for a second time with a strained left calf. Berkman, who had a similar injury in 2009 for Houston, missed three weeks then, and it appears he might be headed in that direction now, having already lost four games. "This is a lot like 2009," said Berkman. "You'd think I would have learned my lesson."

Left fielder Matt Holliday went 0-for-5, dropping his average to .182. But Holliday has hit six balls hard for outs to the outfield in the last week. Manager Mike Matheny told him, "If you keep doing exactly what you're doing, you're going to see some incredible numbers at the end of the season. You're going through a test right now, so stick with it." Holliday said he wasn't concerned but added, "I'd like to have better aim."

Center fielder Carlos Beltran has five homers, good for seven runs batted in, while mainly batting second. Beltran said he doesn't mind hitting in that spot although "I know I'm not the typical second batter who's going to try to play hit-and-run."

RHP Kyle Lohse, hurling a shutout, had thrown only 90 pitches when manager Mike Matheny lifted him for RHP Mitchell Boggs in the eighth inning. Boggs allowed an unearned run and Lohse was deprived of a win although the Cardinals prevailed in extra innings. Matheny said he would do it again. "I have faith that the guys at the back end of our bullpen are going to get the job done," said Matheny.

RHP Adam Wainwright will make his third bid for his first victory of the season on Thursday afternoon. Wainwright, out all of 2011 after elbow surgery, hasn't had good velocity in his first two starts this season, both losses.


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