St. Louis Cardinals

Cardinals’ Rosenthal battling arm tightness; closer was unavailable to pitch Monday

Closer Trevor Rosenthal was unavailable to pitch Monday because of tightness in his right arm, according to St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny.

The Cardinals defeated the Minnesota Twins 3-2, but Kevin Siegrist worked the ninth for his second save. Siegrist hit Torii Hunter with a pitch with two outs, then retired Kurt Suzuki on a liner to third on which Matt Carpenter made a diving play to his left.

“It was one of those days when his arm didn’t feel right and we needed to give him a day,” Matheny said of Rosenthal. “He was down all day.”

Rosenthal recorded four outs Saturday for his 21st save. Matheny said Monday that Rosenthal would have been unavailable to pitch in the game Sunday, which was rained out, because of arm tightness. The tightness didn’t go away before the game Monday.

Matheny said he isn’t concerned about Rosenthal’s injury becoming more than tightness.

“No, that’s all right now,” Matheny said. “We hope he feels better (Tuesday). That’s the whole point of going around talking to the guys every day, ‘How do you feel?’ If it’s a day where, ‘My arm just didn’t bounce back,’ which is the case with this and Trevor, if something just doesn’t feel as good as it normally does, we’ve got to take a step back.

“We can work them hard when they come back with the right answer and everything feels good, but when they’re honest and they need those days, I’ve got to respond and give it to them.”

The Cardinals already are without pitchers Adam Wainwright and Lance Lynn. Position players Matt Holliday and Matt Adams also are sidelined.

Siegrist struck out Joe Mauer and used his bare hand to field Trevor Plouffe’s comebacker for the second out. Seth Maness was warm and ready to go when Siegrist hit Hunter, but Matheny opted to stay with Siegrist, who was rescued by Carpenter’s stellar grab.

“This was a good step for Kevin to take advantage of and show us that he’s ready for that when the time comes,” Matheny said. “He came out with a little extra fire afterwards. You could see that was something he was proud of himself for. ... He stayed true to the pitcher he’s been lately, in a different situation. That’s something he should be proud of.”

Siegrist said the save “feels good.”

“I felt good and I just wanted to secure the win for the team,” he said. “It felt the same as any other outing. I tried to gear up on one against Hunter and hit him. I didn’t plan for that.”

Siegrist also didn’t intend to field Plouffe’s roller to the first-base side of the mound with his bare hand. But the ball stuck and Siegrist made an easy underhanded throw to Mark Reynolds.

“That was not planned,” he said. “I guess my momentum was kind of going toward third base, so I kind of had to spin to get to the ball. I knew I couldn’t get it with my glove or it was going to go by me. So I just stuck my bare hand out and was lucky enough to get it.” 

Contact reporter David Wilhelm at dwilhelm@bnd.com or 618-239-2665. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidMWilhelm.

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