Monday, April 9, 2012
Cards' Lance Berkman back in lineup
CINCINNATI -- Lance Berkman was in the St. Louis Cardinals' lineup on Monday night after testing his sore right hand, which he hurt on an awkward swing.
The first baseman sat out a 9-3 win over Milwaukee on Sunday because left-hander Randy Wolf was pitching and his hand was hurting. Berkman wasn't in the original lineup for a game Monday night against the Cincinnati Reds, a notable development given his success at Great American Ball Park.
Berkman took a few swings to test the hand and decided he felt good enough to play. Manager Mike Matheny changed his lineup and added Berkman, who was sitting at a table in the clubhouse working on a crossword puzzle when the switch was announced.
Asked about his hand, Berkman said, "I may need a hand with this crossword puzzle." He said the hand was a little sore.
Matheny said Berkman didn't swing a bat on Sunday, and the rest seemed to have helped.
"Anytime we can have Lance out there, we're happy about that," Matheny said. "He hits well here. No question we want him in the lineup if possible, over the next couple of days as well."
Berkman has 23 career homers at Great American Ball Park, the most by any visiting player.