Holliday says back is 'fine,' likely to play Friday

Holliday says back is 'fine,' likely to play Friday

ST. LOUIS -- Insisting that his lower back is "fine," Matt Holliday nonetheless remained out of the Cardinals' lineup for Wednesday's series finale against the Mets.

Manager Mike Matheny intended to give Holliday the day off well before Holliday exited Tuesday's 5-1 victory over New York with back tightness. Holliday has played more games than anyone else on the club this year and had started 44 straight games through Tuesday.

Holliday, who said that he felt healthy enough to play on Wednesday, left Tuesday's game after drawing a walk in the seventh inning. It was on his way toward first base that Holliday said he felt discomfort in his lower back.

Starting in left field in place of Holliday against R.A. Dickey on Wednesday was Shane Robinson, who collected two of the Cardinals' seven hits against the knuckleballer in the team's 5-0 defeat on June 2.

Holliday, who ranks ninth in the National League with a .305 batting average, is expected to return to the lineup on Friday. His 92 RBIs are third best in the league.