ST. LOUIS -- Eight days after jamming his right shoulder during a collision with the center-field wall, Jon Jay returned to the Cardinals' starting lineup on Friday. And he left no lingering concerns with the status of that shoulder.
Jay was in the middle of much of the Cardinals' offensive fun in the team's 13-1 win over the Brewers. After flying out in his first at-bat, Jay followed with singles in his next three. His final two hits drove in a combined three runs.
"It's all right," Jay said of his shoulder afterward. "It felt good to get back out there and be productive."
St. Louis opted not to put Jay on the disabled list after X-rays and an MRI confirmed that his shoulder endured no structural damage with the hit. Jay validated that decision when he informed the Cardinals' medical staff that all felt fine when he began hitting again on Thursday.
Jay said his shoulder felt no abnormal soreness on Thursday, when he took swings off a pitching machine. He was further convinced that he could return to the field when he woke up on Friday with no additional stiffness. Jay tested his shoulder again prior to Friday's game. He took swings in the batting cages and spent time fielding balls/throwing in the outfield.
"I was going crazy," said Jay, who is now riding a seven-game hitting streak and hitting .375 this year. "I'm happy to be in the lineup. I feel like I can contribute."
With Carlos Beltran filling the cleanup spot in Lance Berkman's absence, Jay slid into the No. 2 hole on Friday. He'll likely stay there for a while, too.
"I don't see any reason to mess with it right now," manager Mike Matheny said. "Today things went very well. I think he fits well in that spot. He does a nice job pretty consistently there."