MILWAUKEE • Cardinals left fielder Matt Holilday engaged in an arduous session of pregame running Sunday.
First, under the watchful eye of head athletic trainer Greg Hauck and strength coach Pete Prinzi, Holliday lined up in a three-point stance and did a series of sprints. Then, he ran hard from the batter's box to first base. And then he went hard from home to first, turned the corner and went just as hard to second.
After Sunday's game, Holliday, who has been disabled by a left quadriceps injury that has bothered him for most of a month, said he was ready to play if there was a game today.
There isn't, but Holliday, Hauck and Prinzi will be at Nationals Park in Washington working out. Holliday can come off the DL on Thursday for the final game of the series with the Nationals and he said, "I have full confidence I'll be ready to play Thursday. Hopefully, I can stay healthy (he also has had an appendectomy) the rest of the year. Plenty of games left."
A DOUBLE, BUT NOT A TRIPLE
Colby Rasmus, who was robbed of an extra-base hit by Milwaukee center fielder Carlos Gomez in the ninth inning, had doubled to right in the sixth and Albert Pujols had strolled home to hike the Cardinals' lead to 3-0.
Rasmus was headed for a triple but tripped rounding second and was tagged out as he tried to get back to second by diving Brewers shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt, who had cut off a relay throw.
"I was definitely trying to get (to third)," Rasmus said. "As I was running to the (second-base) bag, I wasn't going to be right on time with my foot. ... I did a stutter step and when I hit the bag, I just slipped."
La Russa said, "It was just a fluke thing. You play around those things."
Rasmus had been 14 for 84 before getting two hits Sunday. "When he puts it together like that, he's an impact player," said La Russa. "That's kind of what we need from him."
SKIP ON THE RISE
Skip Schumaker, who is starting against all righthanders at second base now after struggling when he came off a rehabilitation option for his strained triceps, drove in two runs Sunday after getting two hits Saturday.
"The more playing time you get, the better timing you're going to get," said Schumaker, whose average is up to .236 now. "That's the only way to get back.
"I knew it was going to take a while. Tony knew that. I just hope it didn't take too long. But the more time I get, the better it will be."
Schumaker, who was in Jupiter, Fla., only a few days on his rehabilitation assignment when he received the call to return, said, "I thought I was good enough to come. But this is the big leagues and extended (spring training) is extended. It's a little bit different."
CHASE RIDDLE DIES
Former Cardinals minor league manager and scout Chase Riddle, who signed Hall of Fame pitcher Steve Carlton and outfielder Jose Cruz among others, died at age 85 at Troy, Ala., on Sunday
Riddle, who worked in the Cardinals' organization for more than 20 years from the 1950s to the 1970s, later was the head coach at Troy State University, where one of his pitchers was Danny Cox, who later starred for two National League championship Cardinals clubs.
Cox, speaking from his Freeburg home, said that Riddle "made me a lot better pitcher than I was."