Cards shuffle lineup on Saturday

Cards shuffle lineup on Saturday

Cards shuffle lineup on Saturday
ST. LOUIS -- After his club missed out on a handful of run-scoring opportunities in back-to-back 2-1 losses, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny shuffled up his lineup for Saturday's game against Pittsburgh.

Matheny wrote up a lineup with just one lefty -- Matt Carpenter -- to face Pirates left-hander Erik Bedard. Carpenter started in right field, as Matheny wanted to give Carlos Beltran a day off.

"He just looks tired," Matheny said of Beltran. "Everybody is, but he seems to be one that responds well to getting a little rest, coming back fresh."

Beltran -- leading the National League with 83 RBIs -- is batting .236 since the All-Star break, and his average has been below .300 since July 8. Allen Craig batted cleanup in Beltran's place.

Yadier Molina returned to the lineup after missing three straight games with back pain. Molina had been available to pinch-hit or catch in emergency situations for the past two games, but said on Saturday his back felt much better.

"Each day it's better and better, and today I was ready to go," Molina said. "I'm happy for that because it's important for us to try to win. I'm happy to be healthy and be part of that."

Rafael Furcal batted leadoff after hitting eighth in seven of the Cardinals' last eight games. Shane Robinson got the start in center.