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05/15/07 9:45 PM ET

Notes: Wellemeyer worth a chance

Kennedy finding comfort zone in leadoff role

LOS ANGELES -- The Cardinals took a chance on an intriguing arm on Tuesday, claiming right-handed reliever Todd Wellemeyer off waivers from the Royals. Wellemeyer, 28, is familiar to the Cardinals from his three years pitching for the Cubs.

He has struggled this year, posting a 10.34 ERA in 15 2/3 innings with Kansas City, but the Cardinals think there's something to like.

"That's how you get a guy like that," said manager Tony La Russa.

Wellemeyer will be added to the roster on Friday in Detroit, at which time the Cardinals will have to make a corresponding roster move. For his career, Wellemeyer has a 5.65 ERA in 178 1/3 Major League innings. He has amassed 155 strikeouts, but has also issued 122 walks.

"We haven't seen him this year," La Russa said. "We've seen him quite a bit in the past and always liked his arm."

Kelvin Jimenez and Brian Falkenborg are the low men on the bullpen totem pole for the Cardinals. Jimenez, however, can be optioned to the Minors, while Falkenborg would have to be waived if he were sent out.

Who's batting first? Adam Kennedy made another start in the leadoff spot on Tuesday, and thus far he's taken to the job well. Kennedy is 9-for-29 (.310) with a pair of walks as the Cardinals' No. 1 hitter. Meanwhile, David Eckstein had three hits in the No. 8 spot on Tuesday.

La Russa will not rush to return Eckstein to the top of the order.

"Every time David comes up in the eighth spot, I get excited," he said. "There is a lot of value to having a second leadoff [type of hitter] right in front of the pitcher. It creates a lot."

And while Eckstein bats eighth, Kennedy will likely get the bulk of the chances to lead off against right-handed pitchers. On Wednesday, though, Aaron Miles will probably start at second base, and someone else will lead off.

No surgery for Narveson: Chris Narveson, sidelined with a shoulder injury, will not have surgery at this time. He will rest for three to four weeks, according to assistant general manager John Mozeliak. Narveson is 3-1 with a 5.54 ERA in seven starts for Triple-A Memphis this year, with 33 strikeouts and 16 walks in 37 1/3 innings pitched.

Bits and pieces: The Cardinals' win on Monday night was the 9,000th regular-season victory in franchise history, making them the fifth organization to reach that plateau. ... Ryan Ludwick started in right field in place of Juan Encarnacion on Tuesday. Encarnacion had started the first two games upon his recall from a Minor League rehab assignment. ... Albert Pujols and Chris Duncan have combined for 12 of St. Louis' 18 home runs this season.

This date in Cardinals history: On May 15, 1996, Todd Stottlemyre absolutely dominated the Marlins in a 6-0 win at what was then known as Joe Robbie Stadium. Stottlemyre went the distance, allowing four hits and two walks, and striking out 13 Florida batters. Mark Sweeney and Willie McGee hit home runs for St. Louis.

Baby 'Birds: Triple-A Memphis thrashed Colorado Springs, 12-5, on Monday, paced by huge games from Rico Washington (4-for-4), Edgar Gonzalez (single, double, triple) and Nick Stavinoha (double, homer, four RBIs). ... Colby Rasmus hit his sixth home run, and Bryan Anderson doubled and walked, but Double-A Springfield fell to Arkansas, 4-3. Jaime Garcia allowed four runs on seven hits over five innings, striking out three against two walks. ... Class A Palm Beach was leading, 1-0, when its game against St. Lucie was suspended due to rain. ... Class A Quad Cities led, 3-1, going into the ninth, but lost to Burlington, 4-3, in 11 innings. Eddie Degerman was outstanding, pitching five innings with three hits, no earned runs, no walks and seven strikeouts.

Washington earns player of the day honors. The 28-year-old infielder hit a home run to go with three singles, drew a walk, scored four runs and drove in three. In 66 at-bats at Memphis, he's hitting .348 with five homers, five doubles and a .652 slugging percentage. Washington, who had a big year at Springfield last year, signed with the Cardinals in January 2006 as a Minor League free agent.

Coming up: The California portion of the Cardinals' lengthy road trip comes to an end with a Wednesday night contest at Dodger Stadium. Kip Wells will take the mound, looking to turn things around, against Randy Wolf. First pitch is set for 9:10 p.m. CT.

Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.