La Russa loses Friday despite milestone

Sunday, June 12, 2011
Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, front left, and Brewers manager Ron Roenicke, right, present their lineups to umpires at the start of Friday's game in Milwaukee. (JEFFREY PHELPS ~ Associated Press)

MILWAUKEE -- This was a first for Tony La Russa, who was managing for the 5,000th time in his career. And it had nothing to do with the game.

St. Louis managed just six hits off Chris Narveson, and the Milwaukee Brewers shut out the Cardinals 8-0 on Friday night despite a small fire in the ballpark.

"No kidding? I hadn't seen that one," La Russa said. "I wasn't sure what it was."

St. Louis has lost two of three.

"You lose, you're disappointed. If you win, you're excited," La Russa said. "It is a very simple life. We are disappointed."

La Russa was honored with an announcement before the game and tipped his cap to a warm ovation. He also discussed a call in the fourth inning with first-base umpire Angel Campos, but never came close to being tossed.

The 66-year-old La Russa is 2,676-2,320-4 with two World Series titles in 33 seasons with the White Sox, Athletics and Cardinals. Only Connie Mack has managed more games in major league history -- 7,755 over 53 years.

"Five-thousand is unbelievable for a manager," Brewers first-year manager Ron Roenicke said. "He's not just hanging around. He's winning a lot. He has with different organizations. It is pretty incredible. That is really hard to think about a guy being around that long and manage that many games."

The accomplishment wasn't lost on his players. Starter Kyle Lohse (7-3) was 10 months old when La Russa took over the White Sox in 1979.

"It is pretty awesome that he has been able to accomplish that," Lohse said. "It was pretty cool to get to start that game. Unfortunately I didn't give us a chance. It would have been nice to let him win that game. He is great at what he does. It has been fun to play for him."

Instead, the Brewers chased Lohse after five innings. Lohse has lost five straight to Milwaukee and hasn't won in Miller Park for six years.

"It was a rough one. I threw a lot of pitches around the zone," Lohse said. "I just wasn't accurate enough. That is a tough team to keep falling behind guys on. You're going to pay for mistakes when you leave the ball up over the plate."

Narveson, let go by the Cardinals after the 2007 season, was sharp throughout after going 0-1 with a 10.66 ERA in his previous three starts. He only had more than one baserunner in the eighth and he sprinted off the mound after striking out Jon Jay to end the threat.

"We liked him when we had him," La Russa said. "He pitched well."

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