Hot-hitting Furcal takes day off vs. Reds

Hot-hitting Furcal takes day off vs. Reds

CINCINNATI -- The Cardinals tweaked the lineup for Tuesday night's game against the Reds and right-hander Mike Leake. The red-hot Rafael Furcal, who started the first five games and was batting .435 and tied with David Freese with a Major-League leading 10 hits, was given a day off.

"Just giving him a day," said Cardinals manager Mike Matheny. "I'm real happy with how he's doing everything. It's a day game after night game. A lot of times you get the rest on the back side. I'll give it to him on the front."

With Furcal on the bench, center fielder Jon Jay was inserted into the leadoff spot, Daniel Descalso was playing second, and Tyler Greene was making his first start this season at shortstop, his natural position.

"He didn't have a lot of reps [at short] in Spring Training," Matheny said of Greene. "But it's a position he's comfortable with."

Matheny was asked if he considered putting Greene at second and Descalso at short. The Cardinals skipper said he considers a multitude of combinations when making out the lineup each day.

"You have to realize I write quite a few of them," Matheny said. "Just getting creative, then matching them up with the numbers and the matchups. It's a natural position for Tyler, just like second is a natural position for Daniel. When you set guys up for success, just makes sense."