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06/06/10 10:34 PM ET

Dodgers await Cards' decision on starter

Less than 24 hours before the start of the club's series opener in Dodger Stadium, manager Tony La Russa still would not announce a Cardinals starter for Monday. While he narrowed it down to P.J. Walters and Blake Hawksworth, La Russa left the door open for either to get the nod Monday night.

Walters has started twice this season for the Cardinals, while Hawksworth would be making his first career start if he were to get the nod.

In 18 appearances this season out of the bullpen, Hawksworth is 0-2 with a 5.14 ERA.

After throwing five scoreless innings in his first start, which he won in San Diego, Walters was tagged for seven runs on eight hits in four innings on June 1 against the Reds.

On Sunday afternoon, however, La Russa's focus remained on the Cardinals game that night.

"I mean, an honest answer, is we aren't through with the homestand," La Russa said. "It is real easy to concentrate on what you are doing right now. I'm not thinking about the road trip and that is a good message to send to your team. The road trip will take care of itself."

La Russa remained indecisive about Monday's starter even during Sunday night's postgame meeting with reporters.

But while the Dodgers wait to learn whom they'll be facing on Monday, the Cardinals will be preparing for a rookie pitcher who will be making just his fourth career start.

Carlos Monasterios, a 24-year-old Venezuela native, had not pitched above Double-A prior to this season. Yet in 14 appearances this season -- three starts -- Monasterios is 2-0 with a 1.87 ERA. The Dodgers' rookie has allowed just seven earned runs on 27 hits in 33 2/3 innings of work this season.

In his last outing, Monasterios allowed just two hits in five scoreless innings before being removed due to a blister on Wednesday in the Dodgers' 1-0 win over the D-backs in 14 innings. Monasterious struck out three and threw just 81 pitches.

"Anybody who doesn't think pitching is the name of the game, take a look at the numbers of this series," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said on Wednesday.

Cardinals: Garcia excelling in rookie season
Sunday's starter, Jaime Garcia saw his ERA rise to 1.47 after giving up three runs -- two earned -- on eight hits in six innings against the Brewers. Garcia entered the game with a 1.32 ERA, which was the lowest by a National League rookie through his first 10 starts of a season since Dodgers legend Fernando Valenzuela had a 1.24 ERA to that point in 1981, on his way to winning the World Series, the Rookie of the Year and the Cy Young award.

Dodgers: Lima honored before Sunday's game
As a part of their regular Viva los Dodgers Day celebration on Sunday, the Dodgers honored the late Jose Lima during pregame ceremonies. Several of Lima's friends recounted stories of his life, while fans were encouraged to sign a book of memories for his family. ... Lima spent one season with the Dodgers, posting a 13-5 record with a 4.07 ERA in 36 appearances, 24 starts.

Worth noting
With the series split against the Braves over the weekend, the Dodgers extended their series unbeaten streak at home. The Dodgers have not lost a series at home since dropping two of three to Milwaukee from May 4-6. Since being swept by the Mets from April 27-28, the club has lost just two series overall. ... After winning in the 11th on Sunday, the Dodgers are 5-2 in extra-inning games this year, 4-1 at home. ... The Dodgers' James Loney set a new career high with his eighth stolen base of the season in the fifth inning Sunday. ... With three hits in Saturday's win, the Cardinals' Colby Rasmus upped his multi-hit total to 15 games this year, including five in the last eight games. He stayed hot Sunday, hitting a solo home run off Parra in the third inning. Rasmus was 12-for-67 at home entering the homestand, but is 11-for-22 in the last five games, raising his home average from .179 to .258. Rasmus left after just two at-bats on Sunday, though, due to tightness in his left calf. ... Albert Pujols' home runs on Saturday and Sunday were his first at home since Opening Day, snapping a streak of 93 at-bats without a homer at Busch Stadium, the longest stretch of his career at any ballpark. ... With a 4-3 loss in 10 innings on Sunday, the Cardinals dropped to 2-4 in extra innings.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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