Adams sits Friday, but stiff back is improving

Adams sits Friday, but stiff back is improving

WASHINGTON -- First baseman Matt Adams said he felt good Friday, a day after leaving the Cardinals' 2-1 loss to the Nationals in the series opener at Nationals Park with mid-back stiffness. Adams was not in the Cards' starting lineup, but he expected to be available to pinch-hit.

"I woke up and the stiffness felt a lot better," Adams said. "I came in, tested it a little bit, did a full-body workout and went in the cage a little bit."

Adams injured his back on a swing during his fourth-inning at-bat Thursday. Though he singled several pitches later and ran the bases without incident, Cardinals trainers determined he was best off exiting the game.

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny described the injury as a "little spasm."

"It wasn't allowing me to swing the way I wanted to," Adams said Thursday.

With Adams out, Randal Grichuk entered the game in center field, Jeremy Hazelbaker shifted from center to left and Brandon Moss moved from left field to first. Moss was in the starting lineup at first base for St. Louis on Friday.

Adams has been on a hot streak at the plate, batting .381 with four home runs in 18 May games to raise his average to .320 on the season.

Alex Putterman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.