"I think I approached it the proper way and got the most out of it that I could," Gall said of his 20-game stint with the Redbirds, mainly as a right fielder.
Gall never got down about being optioned to Memphis on March 29.
"I was still playing baseball every day," Gall said with a faint smile. "It's a pretty good life."
Still, Gall made it clear he's excited to be up with the Cardinals again for however long the club requires his services. La Russa said the Cardinals will probably go back to a 12th pitcher at some point. But in the meantime, Gall will likely get some chances to make an impression and prove he belongs on the Major League club for the long haul.
"I heard the expression once that when you've proven you can hit in the league you are in, you deserve a chance to go to the next league," La Russa said. "John has definitely earned the trip."
Rincon had been trying to battle through shoulder soreness without telling the club about the problem until recently.
"He just didn't want to give in to it," LaRussa said.
Rolen update: The Cardinals continue to await word on the exact nature of third baseman Scott Rolen's condition.
"I know [trainer Barry Weinberg] talked with him," La Russa said. "He's still a sick man."
Rolen's illness has been classified as bronchitis. He missed his fourth consecutive game on Friday.
"They are trying to figure out exactly what he has got," La Russa said.
Scott Spiezio was again in the lineup at third in Rolen's absence.
More seats soon to open: Construction at new Busch Stadium is moving ahead of schedule, allowing the Cardinals to open more than 4,000 seats, beginning on May 29, in the left field pavilion reserved, pavilion box, outfield loge box and Casino Queen Party Porch.
Beginning at 9 a.m. CT on Wednesday, approximately 65,000 tickets will be available online at stlcardinals.com, for sale at the Busch Stadium ticket office, by phone at 314-345-9000, at Schnucks Markets and all three Cardinals Clubhouse stores. Those stores are located at the St. Louis Galleria, St. Louis Union Station and St. Clair Square.
A majority of those tickets will be for the 18 home games scheduled for May 29 through July 2. A limited number of tickets will also be available for the remainder of the season.
Ticket prices in the pavilion reserved, pavilion box, outfield loge box and Casino Queen Party Porch sections range from $20 to $42 for most games and $25 to $47 for premium Saturday dates and games versus the Chicago Cubs. Children's tickets are available in the pavilion reserved section, priced at $9 each for all games. Big Mac Land will be located in section 272 of the outfield loge boxes. Fans are limited to purchasing eight tickets per Chicago Cubs game.
Approximately 8,000 tickets in other areas of the seating bowl remain for 19 games of the 2006 season. Those tickets are available against the Rockies (May 8-10); Phillies (Aug. 1-2); Reds (Aug. 15-17); Marlins (Aug. 29-31), Pirates (Sept. 1); Astros (Sept. 11-13); Padres (Sept. 25-27) and Brewers (Sept. 28).
Around the horn: Through Thursday's games, the three best records in Major League Baseball belonged to clubs in the NL Central. The Astros were nine games over .500, while the Reds and Cards were eight over. "It's going to be an exciting summer," La Russa said, noting the strong play in the Cards' division. ... Cards GM Walt Jocketty presented a 2005 Silver Slugger Award to pitcher Jason Marquis in a pregame ceremony. Marquis earned the award by batting .310 last season. The 27 hits by Marquis were the most by a pitcher since Rick Rhoden had 28 for Pittsburgh in 1984.
Coming up: The Cardinals will continue their four-game series with the Nationals on Saturday afternoon as Chris Carpenter (3-1, 1.91 ERA) takes on Livan Hernandez (1-3, 6.68 ERA).