Berkman out of lineup for third straight game

Berkman out of lineup for third straight game

Berkman out of lineup for third straight game
ST. LOUIS -- Lance Berkman was held out of the starting lineup for the third straight game on Friday as the outfielder continues to recover from a right shoulder strain.

The slugger received a cortisone shot in the shoulder on Wednesday and has not played since Tuesday, when he went 0-for-2 before being removed from the game with discomfort in his injured shoulder.

Berkman said on Wednesday that he thought he would be ready to play by Friday, but manager Tony La Russa said the slugger would likely return this weekend against the Cubs.

"I think he'll have a chance to be out there [on Saturday]," La Russa said.

Berkman first felt something amiss during his final swing in Sunday's loss to the Pirates and sat out Monday's game against Houston. But the discomfort resurfaced during his second at-bat on Tuesday.

Corey Patterson, who was acquired in Wednesday's trade that sent outfielder Colby Rasmus to Toronto, started in right field in Berkman's stead for the second straight game on Friday and assumed the leadoff spot in the Cardinals' batting order.

"He's got the talent to be No. 1 hitter," La Russa said.

Patterson entered Friday's matchup against Chicago with solid career numbers against Cubs starter Matt Garza, going 6-for-10 with a homer and a double in 11 plate appearances against the right-hander.

Berkman leads the National League with 27 home runs and is hitting .286 with a team-high 69 RBIs in 92 games this season.