Matheny trying to find breather for Furcal

Matheny trying to find breather for Furcal

ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said on Wednesday that he was looking to give shortstop Rafael Furcal a day or two off soon. As of Thursday, with Furcal leading off against the White Sox, Matheny is still searching for when that day will be for Furcal.

"That's a great question, and I don't have a great answer," Matheny said. "I'm looking, just keep talking to him. And I know that he just wants to get it fixed. He showed his value last night even though he's 0-for-whatever. The defensive play that he's had has been consistent."

White Sox center fielder Alejandro De Aza led off the ninth inning on Wednesday night with a sharply hit ground ball up the middle that took a difficult hop past Furcal. De Aza moved up to second on a sac bunt, and a play later, Furcal made a fully extended diving stop behind second base on a Dayan Viciedo single.

De Aza would have scored easily from second, and Furcal's diving effort to keep the ball in the infield kept St. Louis' one-run lead intact in what would end up a 1-0 Cardinals victory.

Furcal is in the midst of an 0-for-19 skid over his last five games. His average is down to .294, the second lowest it's been all year as Furcal has spent all but three days hitting above .300 this season. He hit .315 in April and .349 in May, while cooling down for a .140 clip in June.

"I still like him at the top of the lineup," Matheny said. "He's gonna figure it out. It's just a matter of time, and I think a little bit of rest will probably help."