ST. LOUIS -- A day after the Cardinals faced the Giants with three players limited in their availability, the Cardinals were able to field a fully healthy team Thursday.
Allen Craig (bruised rib) and Rafael Furcal (back stiffness) returned to the lineup, and Skip Schumaker (sore left wrist) was available on manager Mike Matheny's bench.
The timing of Wednesday's onslaught of injuries put Matheny in a spot where he couldn't pull the trigger on using a position player to pitch the final inning of a 15-0 loss to the Giants. Had Schumaker been healthy, Matheny said he likely would have called upon him to make his second Major League pitching appearance.
Schumaker was nursing a sore wrist after being hit by a pitch a night earlier, though he did tell Matheny during Wednesday's game that he was willing to pitch. Still, Matheny chose not to go that route.
"We could have used Skip," Matheny said. "But that's a bad situation."
Matheny's hesitancy to send a position player to the mound left him having to call upon eighth-inning setup man Mitchell Boggs to pitch in a game where the club was already down by 11. Boggs ended up allowing a ninth-inning grand slam, which snapped his string of 23 consecutive scoreless appearances.
"It's not the ideal situation, but it is what it is," Boggs said. "I was the guy whose name was called when the phone rang, and I tried to go out there and throw the ball like I did every other night. I just walked a couple of guys and left a fastball up."