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Freese gets day off to clear his head

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ST. LOUIS -- Manager Mike Matheny chose to keep David Freese out of the lineup on Saturday to give the third baseman a chance to mentally refresh after a frustrating day at the plate in Friday's series opener.

With a runner on third in the first inning on Friday, Freese lined out to the shortstop to end the run-scoring opportunity. Matheny said he then sensed that Freese tried to do too much during his next three at-bats, none of which resulted in a ball leaving the infield. Freese has only four hits in his last 28 at-bats, and he has two extra-base hits on the season -- both doubles.

"Right now, he's just pressing," Matheny said. "Everybody goes through this. It's not a panic situation. Today is an opportunity to get some work and try and get your mind right."

With lefty Jeff Locke starting for Pittsburgh on Sunday, Freese is expected to return to the lineup. Taking Freese's place at third on Saturday was Matt Carpenter. That opened up a spot for Daniel Descalso to start at second.

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

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