Freese plays six innings in return to hot corner

TAMPA, Fla. -- David Freese was back at third base Monday for the first time in a week, starting and playing six innings at the hot corner in the Cardinals' 4-0 loss against the Yankees.

Freese, who was limited by a sore tailbone he injured when he fell trying to catch a ball on March 4, went 1-for-3 with a strikeout and snared a hard-hit line drive off the bat of Yankees shortstop Eduardo Nunez in the fourth inning, the only defensive play he had to make all game.

"That was the plan," bench coach Mike Aldrete said. "Stayed with the plan, we were able to. I think David came through it nicely. Put a couple nice swings on the baseball in his second or third at-bat. Positive day overall for David."

Freese won't be making the trip to Disney with the Cardinals on Tuesday, as he'll head back to the Spring Training complex in Jupiter. St. Louis has an off-day Wednesday, so Freese will have at least two days in a row off before his next game at third base.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.