Maroth eager for chance: The 2007 campaign threatened to become a lost season for Mike Maroth after he lost his rotation spot and was placed on the disabled list. But Maroth is getting another chance, taking the mound against the Pirates on Thursday. He's eager to show something to the Cardinals, who acquired him in June in the hope that he would shore up their rotation.
"I'm excited," Maroth said. "It's definitely an opportunity I want to capitalize on."
Maroth was the beneficiary of Anthony Reyes' demotion to bullpen work. He'll be part of a six-man rotation for the time being, a group that also adds Mark Mulder this week. Maroth believes he's identified a key that will help him be successful, but he acknowledged that endurance may be a problem. Maroth hasn't pitched more than 2 2/3 innings in a Major League or rehab game since July 27.
"I was able to pick up some things mechanically that, whether I just fell into bad habits or what, I was able to address it down there," Maroth said. "I worked on it and it's something that I will continue to work on, because it's not going to change overnight. But at least I saw some things I was doing wrong."
More callups: Following Triple-A Memphis' final game, a 3-1 loss to Nashville, the Triple-A club announced that three of its players had been called up to St. Louis. Infielder Brian Barden, catcher Kelly Stinnett and pitcher Brian Falkenborg will be making their way north. Brad Thompson is also expected to join the big club at some point in the near future.
This date in Cardinals history: On Sept. 3, 2006, against the very same starter the Cardinals face Monday, Albert Pujols hit three home runs in a 6-3 win over Ian Snell and the Pirates.
Baby 'Birds: Mike McCoy reached base four times, but Triple-A Memphis lost to Nashville, 5-4, on Sunday. ... Double-A Springfield steamrolled Arkansas, 11-1, on Sunday behind homers from Mark Hamilton, Allen Craig and Bryan Anderson and a strong start by Cory Rauschenberger. ... Class A Palm Beach held on for a 4-3 win over Jupiter on Sunday, with three shutout innings from Mark McCormick and five from Trey Hearne. McCormick, making his first appearance at a full-season level this year, allowed two hits, struck out two and didn't walk a batter. ... Class A Quad Cities got into the Midwest League playoffs despite a 13-0 loss to Beloit on Sunday. Jose Ramirez and Oliver Marmol had two hits each. ... Short-season Batavia was held to three hits in a 2-0 loss to Williamsport on Sunday.
Hamilton's huge day earns him player of the day honors. He was 3-for-4 with a double, a home run, a walk, three RBIs and three runs scored. Hamilton has struggled a bit since a midseason promotion to Double-A, putting up a .254/.322/.389 (average/slugging/on-base) line at Springfield after a torrid start at Palm Beach. The first baseman was a second-round pick out of Tulane in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft.
Coming up: The Redbirds and Buccos go at it again on Tuesday night at Busch Stadium. Joel Pineiro will pitch for St. Louis, while longtime Cardinal Matt Morris pitches in St. Louis in a Pirates uniform for the first time. Game time is 7:10 p.m. CT.