Ludwick fighting slump near All-Star break

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Last year, Ryan Ludwick made the National League All-Star team. This year, he's not even in the conversation.

Ludwick is batting only .185 this month after going 0 for 3 in the St. Louis Cardinals' 10-0 loss to the San Francisco Giants Monday night. His season is a far cry from his breakout last season, when he hit .299 with 37 home runs and 113 RBIs.

Ludwick was expected to be the protection behind Albert Pujols in the cleanup slot. Instead, St. Louis fourth-place hitters were batting a league-low .220 before the Cardinals acquired Mark DeRosa from the Indians on Saturday.

In 27 games since returning from a hamstring injury on May 29, Ludwick is batting .180 with three homers and 12 RBIs.

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