Rookie outfielder Oscar Taveras, hitting .190 before Tuesday's game, sat for the fifth time in the last seven starts. Manager Mike Matheny said the Cardinals were trying “to win today. We’re not here in the development business.

“There are times when you try to give guys exposure, but the overriding factor is you’ve got to do what we can to win. Along with that, you don’t want a guy to just sit here where he could be getting some much-needed experience at another level.”

But Matheny compared the situation to the Cardinals having Matt Adams on their bench for portions of last season rather than sending him down to Triple-A Memphis.

“... Could (Taveras) help us as a bench guy and possibly get a couple of starts a week? Does that make more sense? I believe the answer is yes,” said Matheny. “That’s where we are right now.

“We’re going to continue to give Oscar opportunities, hoping that he takes off and plays the way he can play. Oscar could be one of those guys that force our hand if he starts taking advantage of the opportunities he gets.”

Taveras raised his average to .200 with a pinch single in the ninth inning of the Cards' 7-2 loss to Tampa Bay.

MILLER STILL IN BULLPEN

Matheny said he hadn’t been punishing righthander Shelby Miller by sending him to the bullpen but rather was giving him a rest.

“Really nothing more than that,” said Matheny. “He’s needed it more than anybody else. Adam (Wainwright) needed it at a time. Shelby was looking like he was getting a little tired. As far as making long-term projections ... once we feel like he has enough rest to finish strong, we’ll get him back out there” as a starter.

Rick is a baseball writer/columnist at the Post-Dispatch 

Rick Hummel is a Cardinals beat writer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.