Berkman leaves early with tight calf

Berkman leaves early with tight calf

CINCINNATI -- Cardinals first baseman Lance Berkman left Tuesday night's game in the eighth inning with a strained left calf. Berkman said the injury occurred when he was legging out a triple in the sixth inning. "That's why I try not to hit too many triples," Berkman joked after the game.

Berkman singled to lead off the eighth inning, but asked to be removed from the game when he felt tightness in his calf. "When I hit the single, I could tell that if I had to score from first on a double, I wasn't going to be the guy to do that the way I felt," Berkman said. "We'll see how I feel in the morning."

Rafael Furcal pinch-ran for Berkman in the eighth.

It was a chilly night at Great American Ball Park, and Berkman said the cool conditions probably contributed to the injury. Berkman, who also has been nursing a sore hand, went 2-for-3 on Tuesday with a walk, triple and single in the Cardinals' 3-1 victory over the Reds.

"He was a little tight in his calf," said Cardinals manager Mike Matheny. "On these kind of nights you do what you can to keep guys warm."