FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Albert Pujols will miss at least two games as a result of discomfort in his lower back.
The three-time National League Most Valuable Player first felt something on Sunday afternoon, and on Monday morning the Cardinals elected to scratch him from their road trip to Fort Myers. Pujols had been scheduled to make the trip to play Monday, then return to Jupiter, Fla., rather than play in Tuesday's game against the Twins in Fort Myers.
"He's not going to make the trip tomorrow," manager Tony La Russa said. "We'll definitely give him tomorrow. Even if we were playing at home, I don't think he'd play. We'll see how he feels on Wednesday."
Joe Mather started at first base in place of Pujols, while Yadier Molina moved into the slugger's customary No. 3 spot in the batting order.
"I just spoke to one of our trainers back there working [at the Cardinals' complex in Jupiter], and he said [Pujols] feels good, much better," general manager John Mozeliak said. "You want to be smart. You don't want to take something small and make it big."
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.