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Kozma gets first taste of outfield since Rookie ball

Kozma gets first taste of outfield since Rookie ball

Kozma gets first taste of outfield since Rookie ball

ST. LOUIS -- On an unusual night for the Cardinals, Pete Kozma found himself in a particularly unusual territory.

With the game all but over, manager Mike Matheny cleared his bench in the sixth inning of Wednesday's 10-0 loss to the Reds, inserting Kolten Wong, Matt Adams, Shane Robinson and Kozma into the lineup for starters Matt Carpenter, Allen Craig, Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday. Kozma -- who started just two of the seven games in this homestand, losing much of his playing time at shortstop to Daniel Descalso -- replaced Holliday in left field.

"It's just going out there and giving those guys rest," Kozma said. "I was just filling in."

Kozma saw two balls hit his way in left, catching a routine fly ball from pinch-hitter Jack Hannahan in the seventh and another from Xavier Paul for the first out of the ninth.

The only other time Kozma played the outfield in his professional career was in 2007 with the Gulf Coast League Cardinals, just months after the Cardinals made him the No. 18 pick in the First-Year Player Draft.

"It was a long time ago," Kozma said. "It's just catching fly balls. Hit the cut-off man and catch the fly ball. Just don't mess up."

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

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