Cardinals offense cruising despite setback against Braves

9:28 AM, May 14, 2012   |    comments
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  • (The Cardinal Nation Show) -- Carlos Beltran certified himself as a strong candidate for Player of the Week honors by connecting for his sixth home run in the six games the Cardinals played during the week. Beltran has 13 homers for the season and has a .653 slugging percentage and .406 on-base percentage.

    Allen Craig took his first tour in the outfield after his November knee surgery. He played all nine innings, felt no pain, smacked his fifth homer in the last seven games and boosted his RBI total to 16 for the 10 games he's played since coming off the disabled list. "I've always believed in myself and that I can play," he said. "I've always thought of myself as the guy who would knock in the big run. When guys are on base, I like to come through for the team."

    Matt Holliday got his first game off after starting the first 33. But he got an early call as a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning with two on and one out and the Cardinals down two runs. He struck out. C Yadier Molina also got a day off as the Cardinals are three games into a stretch of 20 games in 20 days.

    To make room for 1B Lance Berkman, who came off the disabled list (strained left calf), the club had to option OF Shane Robinson to Class AAA Memphis even though Robinson was hitting .311 in 45 at-bats and playing well in the field. "I've been in that spot," said manager Mike Matheny. "You know a guy's coming off (the DL) and you start looking around and hoping it's not you. It's just a tough message to give Shane."

    Lance Berkman extended his hitting streak to eight games -- separated by 20 games missed -- with one hit in five at-bats, although he struck out three times. His left leg felt "all right," he said. "I hadn't played in a month but I was pretty pleased with the at-bats for not having been in there. It's just going to take some time."

    Rafael Furcal extended his hitting streak to a club-high 12 games with three hits. He is 25-for-49 (.510) in that span.   8 -- Number of games in which SS Rafael Furcal has had at last three hits, as he did on Sunday. That total leads the National League.


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