NEW YORK (AP) -Scott Spiezio of the St. Louis Cardinals was hospitalized with an infected left index finger Wednesday, making him unavailable to play against the New York Mets.
Spiezio was receiving antibiotics and was to be re-evaluated Thursday. A valuable utility player, Spiezio is hitting .279 with three homers and 26 RBIs. He started the previous two games at third base while Scott Rolen was sidelined with a bruised left foot.
Rolen felt better Wednesday and returned to the lineup, batting fifth.
``It's fine,'' he said. ``The doctor wanted me to sit two games, wait 72 hours. I woke up today and it felt good.''
Rolen got hurt when he fouled a pitch off his instep Sunday against Philadelphia. He planned to wear a protective guard that covers his ankle and foot when batting Wednesday night, something many hitters do. Rolen, however, said he had never used one before.
In other injury news, catcher Yadier Molina (broken left wrist) was expected to be activated from the disabled list Thursday, and shortstop David Eckstein (back spasms) could be back this weekend in Cincinnati.
Starting pitcher Braden Looper (shoulder strain) is close to returning, too. He's eligible to come off the disabled list Sunday. If he's not ready to pitch that day, manager Tony La Russa said right-hander Todd Wellemeyer would get the ball again.
Wellemeyer is 2-0 with a 4.11 ERA in 10 games, including six starts. He started Tuesday night against the Mets, allowing one run and three hits in six innings for a no-decision.
La Russa said right-hander Brad Thompson will start Friday night at Cincinnati. Thompson pitched 1 1-3 scoreless innings of relief Tuesday night, earning the win.
Mike Maroth, recently acquired from Detroit, will make his second start for the Cardinals on Saturday.
Injured ace Chris Carpenter threw 34 pitches in a simulated game against minor league hitters at the team's complex in Florida. As long as he comes out of it OK, the next step will be for Carpenter to make a rehab start in the minors.
The 2005 NL Cy Young Award winner had surgery to remove bone chips from his right elbow on May 8. He hasn't pitched for the Cardinals since starting on opening day.

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