St. Louis opened Interleague Play with a pyrrhic victory, losing starter Brad Penny to an injury and burning through six innings of bullpen work en route to beating the Angels, 9-5, at Busch Stadium. General manager John Mozeliak announced after the game that the club will add right-hander P.J. Walters for bullpen depth prior to Saturday's game against the Halos.
Penny hit a third-inning grand slam, but didn't throw another pitch after it, coming out of the game after throwing his warmup pitches at the start of the fourth. He is suffering from a right lat strain, an injury he said he first felt after his previous start in Cincinnati.
But Penny's offense, and the St. Louis bullpen, were plenty to get a win on a night when former Cardinal Joel Pineiro struggled mightily.
"I think the whole bullpen did a good job today," said Jason Motte, who was credited with the win for two perfect innings. "With Brad getting hurt when he did, it was big for all of us to come in and get the scoreless innings like we did."
Felipe Lopez contributed a triple and a home run, and Colby Rasmus tripled in two runs for the Cardinals, who scored their most runs since an 11-4 win in Pittsburgh on May 9. Lopez's home run was briefly reviewed on replay, but the call was upheld.
The two-triple game was the first by the Cardinals since Sept. 26, 2008, when Adam Kennedy and Braden Looper both hit three-baggers.
Mitchell Boggs, who immediately relieved Penny, allowed a run in his first inning, but cruised through his second. Boggs was frustrated by giving up a run, but given the short notice with which he was summoned, La Russa considered it a small victory.
"I was really proud of Boggs," La Russa said. "He came in that first inning, and you're not really mentally and physically ready to get out there, and all of a sudden, they had a chance for more and they only get one. He collected himself and got a zero -- that's very impressive."
Motte tossed two perfect frames before handing off to Kyle McClellan. Dennys Reyes finished the game off with a scoreless ninth.
"Those guys kept the lead, and our bullpen settled down," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Neither team was really hurt by the starter going three innings."
The Cardinals have won four out of five after losing nine of 12. They remained one-half game ahead of the second-place Reds in the National League Central.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.