• Jake Westbrook threw a bullpen session Friday afternoon, the second such throwing session he has had since being placed on the disabled list with a lower back strain. Westbrook said his back continues to feel better and said he's hopeful that he'll be ready to come off the DL on Sept. 6, his first date of eligibility.
• With a loss Thursday, Double-A Springfield was officially eliminated from postseason contention. The loss was the fifth straight for Springfield, which has a 64-70 record with four games remaining on the schedule.
• The Cardinals entered this weekend series against the Pirates having won each of their last five series. The club is 11-5 during that stretch and has made up four games in the division standings. The string of winning series is the longest since St. Louis took six in a row in May.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.