- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 22, 2011

ST. LOUIS (AP) - A day after Miguel Batista walked consecutive batters with the bases loaded, the St. Louis Cardinals released the 40-year-old right-hander.

Batista was part of a bullpen collapse in a 10-2 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies and was not the long relief solution the team envisioned when they signed him last winter.

“Well, it came down to performance,” general manager John Mozeliak said. “We tried to stick with Batista as long as we could but he was just so inconsistent.

“And when you look at how we’re dealing with things right now in our bullpen, we need to find some continuity and some consistency.”

The Phillies scored a season-best nine runs in the eighth against five relievers in a 10-2 victory Tuesday night. Batista also gave up a two-run single against Jimmy Rollins and was charged with three runs without getting anybody out.

Batista had another poor outing last week, giving up five runs in two-thirds of an inning and taking the loss against the Nationals. He was 3-2 with a 4.60 ERA, working only 29 1-3 innings in 26 appearances.

“Obviously, when you’re putting a club together you envision certain things to happen,” Mozeliak said. “We were hopeful we’d get more production out of him or more consistent production, and it just didn’t happen.”

Manager Tony La Russa shot down rumors that he might consider returning Kyle McClellan to a setup role to solidify the bullpen. In his first year in the rotation, McClellan is 6-3 with a 3.73 ERA and allowed one run in seven innings against the Phillies on Tuesday.

“I don’t know why you’d do that,” La Russa said. “Absolutely not.”

Right-hander Lance Lynn was recalled from Triple-A Memphis and the team said he would be available in the bullpen Wednesday night against the Phillies. The 24-year-old Lynn was 1-1 with a 5.23 ERA in two starts earlier this year with St. Louis, and is 7-3 with a 3.84 ERA in 12 minor league starts.

Lynn’s last relief appearance was in 2009 for Class A Palm Beach.

La Russa gave slumping Colby Rasmus, 2 for 21 the last six games with one RBI, a day off against left-hander Cliff Lee. Jon Jay started in center field. La Russa said Rasmus would be back in the lineup on Thursday.

Lance Berkman played first base the second straight game in place of injured Albert Pujols. La Russa hasn’t decided where best to use the 35-year-old Berkman to maximize his health.

La Russa said rookie Mark Hamilton might start at first base on days when he decides to use Berkman at right field.

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