- Associated Press - Saturday, April 12, 2014

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Mike Matheny reasoned that Trevor Rosenthal had such an easy time in the 10th inning, throwing just six pitches, that even if the St. Louis Cardinals closer failed at the plate he’d still be around to mow down the Chicago Cubs‘ hitters.

The manager left a couple of pinch-hit options on the bench with a chance to win the game Friday night. That decision was a failure.

Pete Kozma and Tony Cruz went unused, Rosenthal struck out at the plate and then gave up a three-run homer to Welington Castillo in the 11th inning of a 6-3 loss.

“With two outs we made our decision to get Trevor back in and hopefully give our offense another shot,” Matheny said. “Trevor had a very efficient inning and he’s arguably our best guy in the ‘pen.”

Rosenthal (0-1) took a called third strike in his second career at-bat, confessing he’d been surprised to get the chance.

“I was hoping we could score a run before my spot came up,” he said.

He didn’t carry the disappointment at the plate back to the mound.

“Uh no, because I mean, I’m not here to hit,” he said. “So it’s kind of easy to brush it off and just go out there and try to have another shutdown inning and give us a chance to come back and score some more runs.”

On Castillo’s homer, he said he just missed enough with location.

“I thought I could elevate. I figured he might be hunting a fastball,” Rosenthal said. “Looking at the video, I didn’t get it up quite up as much as I had hoped, but he put a good swing on a good pitch.

“Not much you can do about it.”

Nate Schierholtz doubled for his fourth straight hit leading off the 11th and advanced on a sacrifice. Starlin Castro was intentionally walked and Ryan Kalish popped out on a bunt attempt before Castillo lined a 1-1 fastball 426 feet to left for his second homer.

“They’re all disappointing,” Matheny said. “When a team comes back like they did, you hope you can put something away.

“It’s just a shame we couldn’t finish it.”

Justin Grimm (1-0) walked Matt Holliday and Matt Adams on eight pitches to start the 10th but got out of it. Hector Rondon finished for his first career save.

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