Cardinals to give Lohse three more starts -

Cardinals to give Lohse three more starts

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Kyle Lohse, who's struggled to recover from a forearm injury, gets three starts to dial everything in beginning Monday night in Houston.

Lohse, a 15-game winner last season, is 5-8 with a 4.83 ERA and has had trouble regaining a familiar feel. The Cardinals are trying to decide what to do with the right-hander, who could lose his spot in the postseason rotation to John Smoltz if he's not able to make strides the rest of the season.

Lohse said his only concern is facing the Astros and left-hander Wandy Rodriguez in a ballpark with a short porch in left field, not about showing the team he's ready.

"I just know I've got a job to do," he said. "They've got a good lineup and I've got to bear down every pitch."

Lohse said it'll take extended rest to get the forearm, injured when he was hit by a pitch on May 23, back to 100 percent. He said the forearm affects his delivery off and on.

"It's not a pain so much as I'm used to my body reacting a certain way," Lohse said Sunday. "When I release a ball I'm used to the way it feels coming out, and off and on it's been a normal feel, and sometimes it feels like it's not there."

Lohse is also trying to rebuild strength in the forearm and reported favorable results from a pair of bullpen sessions.

"I know he's working on stuff," manager Tony La Russa said. "He's got three opportunities, so the timing's right for him."

Troy Glaus, who pulled a left side muscle on a checked swing eight days earlier, reported no progress although he's expected to accompany the team on a nine-game trip. Glaus has only 17 at-bats this season following shoulder surgery in January.

"He hasn't gotten any clearance that he's available," La Russa said. "We're running out of time."

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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