ST. LOUIS (AP) -Cardinals manager Tony La Russa rewrote his lineup card to include Albert Pujols several hours before Friday night's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, forgetting that he had planned to give his star a day off later in the weekend.
The original lineup had Chris Duncan batting third and playing first base. In the revision, Pujols was in those spots and Duncan was hitting second and playing left field.
Rick Ankiel, who hit a three-run home run in his major league debut as an outfielder on Thursday, was moved from second to sixth in the revised card. La Russa was still raving about Ankiel's dramatic home run off Padres reliever Doug Brocail in the seventh inning to put the Cardinals ahead 5-0.
``It looked like Kirk Gibson hitting Eckersley,'' La Russa said. ``Timing is an amazing thing. You don't need to muscle it. A lot of times, Mark (McGwire) would talk about, 'I'm just going to see it and flip it.'''
La Russa plans to give Pujols and Scott Rolen a day off during the weekend. The Cardinals have day games Saturday and Sunday.
``I confused myself,'' La Russa said. ``I thought it was today, but it wasn't today, so I had to make a new lineup.
``He'll probably get one (day off) in this series, either tomorrow or the next day.''
Pujols, batting .315 with 24 homers and 74 RBIs, has been playing through general soreness, but said he didn't want any time off. He noted that the Cardinals don't play on Monday before beginning a seven-game trip to Milwaukee and Chicago.
``I don't think a day here or there is going to help me or make any difference,'' Pujols said. ``I figure Monday will be a good day.''
Pujols has missed only one game all season, frequently turning down days off and even declining late-game rest in many cases.
``I get paid to play every day,'' Pujols said. ``If I can, I will. Every little thing, I try to take advantage.''
Pujols has been conserving his strength during a heat wave that has put game-time temperatures near 100 all week. The last three days he has not taken batting practice outdoors.
``Obviously, it's hot out there and everybody needs to go through it,'' Pujols said. ``It's too late in the season, and I think hitting outside right now is overrated anyway.''
La Russa had Duncan batting second because he was 4-for-5 against Dodgers starter Brad Penny with a home run and a double.
``Chris is going to hit second because he's been a real tough out against Penny and I want to get him up there,'' La Russa said.

MLB Top Stories

Thumbnail Arrieta, Cubs eye second straight W vs. Padres   Colorado served as an unforeseen stumbling block for the Cubs over the weekend. Yesterday, though, the majors’ top team returned to business as usual.
Thumbnail Indians vs. Athletics Pick The Cleveland Indians hope to not take a step back on the road when they face the Oakland Athletics at 10:05PM ET.
Thumbnail Giants vs. Dodgers Free Pick The Giants send their ace to the mound tonight versus the Dodgers at 10:10PM ET but will it equal victory given their struggles?
Thumbnail Rangers vs. Reds Prediction Given their starter's recent success, the Reds should be a nice play for bettors tonight when they host the Rangers at 7:10PM ET.
Thumbnail Red Sox vs. Rays Prediction Are the Red Sox worth a flier for bettors as a rare underdog tonight against the Rays at 7:10PM ET?
More inMLB Articles  
Advertisement

MLB Team Pages