In addition to the center field switch, La Russa went with Hector Luna at second base, rather than Aaron Miles, and returned Juan Encarnacion to the lineup after Encarnacion received a semi-break on Sunday. Encarnacion didn't start against Cincinnati, but came off the bench and beat out an infield hit. He was caught stealing on a hit-and-run play and committed an error in right field.
Just as in his last start, Encarnacion hit in the fifth spot in the order, rather than No. 2 -- where he spent most of the season's first two weeks.
It's in the past: A series of incidents between the Cardinals and Pirates last summer was overblown as far as La Russa is concerned. Pittsburgh second baseman Jose Castillo was injured on a play when Luna slid into second base, and the next day Luna was brushed back by then-Pirate Rick White. A day after that, a scuffle erupted during pregame warmups.
"The stuff that happened during batting practice, I think, was a freak kind of weird thing," La Russa said. "The Luna incident, any baseball person on their team or our team that saw that as anything but a normal slide [is mistaken]. The second baseman didn't get up. Their guys were saying, 'He planted, he's been doing it and they've been waiting for him to get hurt.' We heard that the next day. ... I'm sure that's not how he was taught and that's not how you teach.
"So all of a sudden, people start taking shots at Luna. I mean, those things didn't add up. I've got to believe that maybe they've watched tapes since then. You know they've got guys on their club, on both clubs, all around the league, that slide like that. That's why it was a real bogus thing."
Rodriguez scratched: John Rodriguez's run of bad luck continues. Just as he was scheduled to get his first start against a lefty this year, he came down with an illness. Rodriguez was removed from the lineup at the last moment due to an allergic reaction to something he ate. Skip Schumaker took his place in left field and in the eighth spot in the batting order.
This date in Cardinals history: On April 17, 1994, a couple of Cardinals enjoyed the games of their lives. Rene Arocha pitched the only shutout of his big league career, allowing five hits and no walks and striking out nine in a 5-0 win over the Padres at Busch Stadium. Providing the offense was Geronimo Pena, who went 2-for-3 with a pair of home runs -- two of the 30 he hit in 1,010 career big league at-bats.
Baby 'Birds: Triple-A Memphis suffered a heartbreaking loss on Sunday, rallying from a 6-1 deficit in the eighth before losing, 7-6. Anthony Reyes allowed five runs, four earned, over 6 1/3 innings with seven strikeouts, one walk and two homers. ... Double-A Springfield fell, 4-2, to Wichita. Cody Haerther went 3-for-4 with a triple. ... Class A Palm Beach and Class A Quad Cities were off on Sunday.
Haerther is the player of the day. The 22-year-old outfielder has shown signs recently of breaking out of an early slump. After a 3-for-23 start to the season, Haerther is 6-for-14 in the past four games. He was the Cardinals' sixth-round draft pick in 2002.
Coming up: It will be a study in contrasts at PNC Park on Tuesday night. Steady right-hander Jeff Suppan, who relies on precise command, changing speeds and changing locations, will take the mound for the visiting Cardinals. For the homestanding Buccos, it will be the erratic, occasionally brilliant lefty Oliver Perez. Game time is 6:05 p.m. CT.