LOS ANGELES -- Rick Ankiel's return to health was obvious on Wednesday, and official on Friday.
Ankiel, who hit a pinch-homer two days earlier in San Diego, returned to the Cardinals lineup on Friday night. He hadn't started since the previous Friday because of soreness in his right shoulder, the lingering effect of an awkward swing against Tampa Bay.
According to manager Tony La Russa, Ankiel is not restricted in what he can do on the field.
Ankiel's return brought the Cardinals back to a full complement of outfielders and had a domino effect elsewhere in the lineup. Skip Schumaker was held out of the lineup, thanks to Ryan Ludwick's hot bat and Chris Duncan's 4-for-10 career mark against opposing starter Derek Lowe.
"I'd love to play him," La Russa said of Schumaker, "but he's going to play the next two days and somebody else will have to sit."
Taking Schumaker's place in the leadoff spot was second baseman Adam Kennedy. Though Kennedy is slumping, he has outstanding numbers against Lowe -- 11-for-25 (.440) with three extra-base hits and four walks.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.