Cardinals activate Fowler, option Piscotty

Cardinals activate Fowler, option Piscotty

KANSAS CITY -- The Cardinals didn't wait for Dexter Fowler to make his return at Busch Stadium. Instead, Fowler got a jumpstart on what he hopes will be a strong finishing kick to the season when he was activated prior to Monday night's game against the Royals.

Fowler, who had been out since July 25 because of a left forearm strain, started in center field against right-hander Ian Kennedy. Fowler tripled in his first at-bat in the second inning and scored on Kolten Wong's sacrifice fly.

Wong's sac fly

To make room on the 25-man roster, the Cardinals optioned outfielder Stephen Piscotty to Triple-A Memphis.

Fowler was hitting .241 with 14 homers and 37 RBIs when he went on the disabled list for the second time this year. Whether he's hitting No. 1, No. 3 or No. 6, Fowler just wants to make a strong contribution these next two months for a Cardinals club which has been hanging around the perimeter of the National League Central race.

"It's fine," Fowler said when asked about hitting sixth in the order. "I'm playing. My job is to go out there wherever [manager Mike Matheny] puts me and play."

Fowler doesn't anticipate the forearm will be an issue going forward.

"I feel good," Fowler said.

Piscotty headed to Memphis after hitting .232 with six homers and 31 RBIs for the Cardinals this season.

"Just trying to do each day what's best for the club and for each guy individually, too," Matheny said. "We just need to get [Piscotty] right, where he's helping us and feeling confident."

Matheny said returning Fowler in the No. 6 spot was a reflection of what he has seen higher in the order.

"Right now, I really like the way the top three guys are taking their at-bats," Matheny said. "[Jose Martinez], what he did [Sunday], there's no reason to move him out of No. 4. Batting [Yadier Molina] at No. 5, that's a place where he has been very productive. We'll always adjust each day, depending on the matchups and who we have available."

Robert Falkoff is a contributor to MLB.com based in Kansas City. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.