First-year starter Matt Adams has batted .293 as the Cardinals’ cleanup hitter since being moved there about three weeks ago.
But, with Allen Craig — who most often was the No. 4 hitter in 2013 — starting to heat up, Adams knows that manager Mike Matheny might revert to a lineup in which he would restore Craig to the No. 4 spot. That would have Adams hitting sixth, where he has batted .423 this year.
Adams, who cracked a three-run homer on Wednesday, said, “Whatever’s the best for the team. As long as I’m in the lineup, I’ll be happy. I don’t care if I’m hitting in the four spot, or eighth.”
The Cardinals, after going without a homer for 10-plus games, suddenly have clouted seven in their last four games. Those home runs have driven in 13 runs, a not insignificant total.
But Adams said, “You’re not always going to have homers. We know that. We need to continue to have good at-bats.”
.500 BUT NOT BUSTED
The Cardinals have meandered through the first month of the season, flirting with the .500 mark but never dipping under it. Since April 20, 2011, the Cardinals have been under .500 on only five days and none since they were 3-4 on April 8 of last year.
Despite their clear inconsistency so far, the Cardinals have not dropped more than two games in succession for the first month of the season. That also was the case at the end of last season when they didn’t lose more than two straight in September.
But last year the Cardinals were 19-8, not 15-14 as they are now.
Their record after 29 games is their worst since 2007, when they were 12-17.
With Thursday’s off day, the Cardinals can continue with a four-man rotation until Tuesday when lefthander Tyler Lyons is slated to pitch at Atlanta. Joe Kelly, who is recovering from a left hamstring strain, is on the trip but isn’t expected to be ready by then.
• The Cardinals will appear on three of the four ESPN Sunday night games this month, all on the road. After Sunday’s night game in Chicago, they also will be featured May 11 at Pittsburgh on the last day of a 10-day trip and again on May 25 in Cincinnati. That comes before a late afternoon home game against the New York Yankees the next day (Memorial Day).
• After swiping a league-low 45 bases last season, lowest in the National League, the Cardinals are on pace to steal just 50 this year. They have swiped nine but have allowed only eight steals against them.
• Cardinals pitchers already have 10 hits. They had only 40 all of last season.