Carpenter 'in a good place' after early exit

All-Star passes right oblique tests, gets scheduled off-day anyway

Carpenter 'in a good place' after early exit

ST. LOUIS -- Despite testing out at full strength, Matt Carpenter, who showed some hesitation in the field and at the plate in Saturday's 13-5 loss, was out of the Cardinals' starting lineup on Sunday. Manager Mike Matheny said that Sunday had already been scripted as a scheduled day off for Carpenter, who came off the 15-day disabled list on Friday after a month missed with a right oblique injury.

Carpenter was available off the bench for Sunday's series finale against the Braves, and he is expected back in the lineup on Monday against the Reds.

"You do so many drills and everything is so controlled for a long period of time -- whether it's range of motion or intensity -- that even when you do let it go, you wonder, 'Is there a movement that's going to take me backwards?'" Matheny said. "He's just at that point of trusting it. He felt good about it when he was on his rehab assignment, and for some reason, yesterday was one of those days where he didn't feel like he could completely let it go. But he can. It's just a matter of him getting past it. He's in a good place today."

Matheny felt Carpenter was holding back during Saturday's game, particularly in his fifth-inning at-bat. It was at that point that Matheny made the move to remove him and send him back into the clubhouse for evaluation.

Carpenter went through a battery of strength tests that confirmed his oblique injury has healed. The Cardinals hope that the additional medical confirmation will help eliminate any remaining concerns Carpenter has about making a movement that could trigger a setback.

"That's something he knows he's working through," Matheny said. "Everybody is confident with where he is. It's just a matter of him getting into that good feel, not just at the plate, but also in the field as well."

Worth noting

Yadier Molina was back in the Cardinals' lineup on Sunday after X-rays showed no fracture in his right middle finger. Molina fouled a ball off that finger in Saturday's game and was removed in the eighth inning.

Kolten Wong's solo home run on Saturday made the Cardinals the first team to connect for 12 pinch-hit homers in a season since the 2007 D-backs. The club sits two away from matching the Major League record of 14, reached by the D-backs and Giants in 2001.

Wong's pinch-hit homer

• Alex Reyes, the Cardinals' No. 1 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, got back on track Saturday with a strong six-inning start for Triple-A Memphis. Reyes scattered six hits and two walks while striking out eight and allowing one run. He threw 67 of his 105 pitches for strikes.

Reyes strikes out four

• Luke Weaver, the Cardinals' second-ranked prospect, will make his Triple-A debut in Memphis' doubleheader on Monday. Weaver was promoted to Memphis after going 6-3 with a 1.40 ERA in Double-A Springfield.

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.