Ryan's D not affected by slump

Ryan's D not affected by slump

ST. LOUIS -- Brendan Ryan's slump at the plate has not affected his defense.

Ryan made two outstanding inning-ending plays in Wednesday night's 2-1 win over the Astros despite another 0-fer night at the plate. On Thursday afternoon, Ryan got a breather, with Felipe Lopez taking his spot at short.

"We'll save him a couple at-bats today and keep Lopez alive," manager Tony La Russa said.

And while Lopez may provide an offensive upgrade, the Astros aren't sorry to see somebody other than Ryan in the field at shortstop.

"I think that's his reputation -- that he's been really a solid defender," Astros manager Brad Mills said. "That kind of goes with what we're seeing and how he's playing the game."