Matheny shuffles batting order, Craig moves to fifth

Matheny shuffles batting order, Craig moves to fifth

ST. LOUIS -- For the first time this year, the Cardinals featured a shortstop other than Pete Kozma in their starting lineup. Daniel Descalso drew the assignment on Saturday, giving Kozma the chance to rest and getting Descalso some repetitions at a position where he is the only backup option on the Major League roster.

"We can't go too long without letting these guys play the position that they may need to play," manager Mike Matheny said in reference to Descalso.

Finding somewhat regular playing time for Descalso will require inserting him for periodic starts at shortstop, as it appears Matt Carpenter will draw the bulk of the team's starts at second. While the Cardinals have not explicitly said as much, it's clear that Matheny wants to keep Carpenter's bat in the lineup as regularly as possible.

Carpenter entered Saturday with 14 hits and a .359 batting average. He leads the National League with 11 runs scored and already has five multi-hit games.

Matheny also shuffled the middle of his batting order on Saturday in an attempt to jump start Allen Craig. Craig, who has been the team's cleanup hitter, batted in the No. 5 hole, behind Carlos Beltran, against Milwaukee's Yovani Gallardo.

Craig opened the season with just eight hits in 38 at-bats. He entered Saturday hitless in four previous at-bats against Gallardo.

"Sometimes moving guys to different positions could help get them going," Matheny said. "Allen is close but could use a little bump."