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St. Louis Cardinals Lose Vs. Rays, Kyle McClellan Struggles Again

The St. Louis Cardinals' surprise winning streak fell apart Saturday, when Kyle McClellan's rough return from a hip injury continued in a sixth inning that saw the Tampa Bay Rays score all five of their runs on the way to a 5-1 victory. Lance Berkman homered—his 21st of the season, seven more than he hit in all of 2010—to provide the Cardinals' only offense. 

McClellan, who briefly led the National League in wins after making the post-Adam-Wainwright conversion to the starting rotation, has put together one good start in four tries since returning from the disabled list; with Lance Lynn on the roster as a reliever the rumor mill has a return to the set-up role he won as a possibility, but Tony La Russa has so far demurred. 

Brandon Dickson made his Major League debut in the loss, going for a perfect inning and a third in Tropicana Field before giving way to fellow newbie Raul Valdes, who retired the Rays' last batter. Dickson, a groundball-oriented starter in Memphis who was 4-7 with an ERA of 3.86 there in 2011, replaced Ryan Franklin on the roster after the Cardinals released their former closer.