ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Cardinals are making the best of the All-Star break with outfielder Matt Holliday, who they believe just needs a little more time to recover from a strained hamstring.
Holliday was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Saturday, retroactive to July 12. The No. 3 hitter had already missed four games after getting hurt running to first on July 11 at Chicago.
"It was that missing 10-20 percent where he still felt a little something," manager Mike Matheny said. "We just had too many things going in our favor, all the time that's already passed, the break, a day off on Monday."
Matheny didn't want to risk keeping Holliday active to pinch hit, knowing players have a hard time throttling back.
"If it's a big run, it's the last out of the game, when you kick it in gear and you might be safe and we win, how do you not?" Matheny said.
The team purchased the contract of first baseman/outfielder Brock Peterson, a Pacific Coast League All-Star at Triple-A Memphis, in time for Saturday night's game against the Padres. Carlos Beltran batted third.
The 33-year-old Holliday, a career .310 hitter, is batting .268 with 13 home runs and 47 RBIs.
The 29-year-old Peterson was batting .306 and led the PCL with 22 homers to go with 66 RBIs in 93 games at Memphis.
Peterson made his major league debut as a pinch-hitter in the fifth inning of Saturday night's game against the Padres. He earned an RBI when his ground out against San Diego starter Edinson Volquez drove in David Freese to make it 4-3.
"His eyes are spinning a little bit now, and rightfully so," Matheny said. "He's very excited and it's just a great story. But nothing's been given to him, he's had a tremendous season and I think he'll fit in well with what we're looking to do."
Carp struggles at Memphis
Making his second rehab start as he attempts to work his way back onto the Cardinals pitching staff, Chris Carpenter allowed four runs on nine hits in just 3 1/3 innings while starting for the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds against the Oklahoma City Redhawks on Saturday night.
Carpenter allowed a single in the first inning, but got out of it without allowing a run, as the Redbirds turned a double play.
But in the second inning, he gave up a pair of runs on three hits and a walk.
In the third inning, Oklahoma City, an affiliate of the Houston Astros, scored two more runs on three hits and another walk.
Carpenter went out to start the fourth inning and allowed a single, followed by a strikeout. He then gave up another single, before being relieved by Victor Marte.
For the game, Carpenter, who was on a pitch limit of about 75, threw 79 pitches, 48 for strikes. Outside of a leadoff triple in the third inning, eight of the nine Oklahoma City hits were singles. He finished with two strikeouts and two walks and induced just five swings and misses.
In Carpenter's first rehab start, on Tuesday night for Double-A Springfield Cardinals against the Arkansas Travelers, Carpenter had pitched 2 2/3 innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits, including a home run.
He threw 54 pitches, 38 for strikes, with five strikeouts and two walks.
Shut down before the start of spring training, the 38-year-old Carpenter is attempting to return from what was believed to be potential career-ending nerve issues in his neck and right shoulder.
He had to briefly stall his throwing program in June because of a separate back injury, but has incurred no setbacks since.
If Carpenter comes out of Saturday's game with no lingering health issues, the Cardinals continue to him pitch every five days. With Memphis at home through Thursday, that means he will likely make his next start for the Redbirds.
Carpenter has enough time remaining on his rehab assignment to make as many as four more starts.