Atlanta Braves defeat St. Louis Cardinals, 7-6

When righthander Kyle Lohse was asked how he would describe his return to the Cardinals' rotation Saturday, he had at least two ways of answering it.

"PG (version)?" he asked.

With this newspaper, along with other media outlets, on that plan, Lohse then offered the following assessment:

"Not good."

Making his first start since Aug. 21 - except for one inning of relief, Lohse had been sidelined with a strained left groin since that date - the 15-game winner of 2...

The Cardinals reached a weekend series against the Atlanta Braves loaded with alternatives for their postseason starting rotation while awaiting a glimpse of closer Ryan Franklin after almost a week's hiatus.

Then Saturday happened.

A game the Cardinals refused to take from a butter-fingered opponent ended as a 7-6 loss after the well-rested Franklin dropped a one-run lead before getting a ninth-inning out.

Catcher Brian McCann's bases-loaded double off the base o...

Are you worried yet?

After a 33-11 dash and leap through the National League that catapulted the Cardinals into a double-digit lead in the NL Central, the home team is dealing with new issues.

The closer, Ryan Franklin, is suddenly on the fritz. After being shut down to rest for five days, Franklin returned on Saturday afternoon at Busch Stadium. He immediately filled the bases, gave up a two-run double, and blew another save in a frustrating 7-6 loss to the Atlanta ...