CINCINNATI -- Reliever Eduardo Sanchez's return has been delayed indefinitely after the right-hander experienced discomfort during his rehab appearances with Double-A Springfield.

"I was told that he didn't come out of his throwing discomfort-free," manager Tony La Russa said. "They're going to have to readjust what their schedule is. I don't know what that is."

Sanchez (strained right shoulder) has thrown 4 1/3 innings during his three rehab appearances with Springfield. Most recently, he struck out a pair and threw 26 pitches in two scoreless innings on Tuesday.

Sanchez has been on the disabled list since June 16. Prior to that, he had a 1.88 ERA in 25 relief appearances with St. Louis. Opponents were hitting .151 against him.

Craig expected to return in early August

CINCINNATI -- Outfielder Allen Craig is about two weeks away from coming back to the Majors, manager Tony La Russa said Friday. Craig is currently working out with Triple-A Memphis, but he has not yet begun playing games.

"I don't think it's smart to rush him," La Russa said. "If he does this for a week, and he starts doing the rehab stuff more seriously a week from now ... that's 10 days: Aug. 1."

Craig has missed 30 games since suffering a fractured right kneecap at Houston on June 7. He began running sprints at about 60 percent on July 6.

Prior to the injury, Craig had given the Cardinals' offense a nice boost. He was hitting .336 with four homers and eight doubles in 107 at-bats.

La Russa tweaks rotation to set up matchups

CINCINNATI -- Jake Westbrook's 5.34 ERA ranks last among Cardinals' starters, but manager Tony La Russa gave him the ball for the team's first game out of the All-Star break because of how the move sets up next week's matchups.

Chris Carpenter and Jaime Garcia will pitch Saturday and Sunday, respectively, against the Reds, and Kyle Lohse and Kyle McClellan will toe the rubber in the first two games against the Mets.

"Carpenter and Garcia were going to pitch Saturday and Sunday, so it was just a matter of where you were going to pitch the other three guys," La Russa said. "We wanted to give Kyle some extra rest, so it comes down to Lohse or Westbrook. I just like Lohse better in New York."

Lohse has faced both the Reds and Mets eight times and is 2-3 against each. Westbrook has faced Cincinnati twice this season. In April, he tossed six shutout innings. Last week, he was chased in St. Louis after allowing seven earned runs on eight hits in 4 1/3 innings.

Baby birds

• Aaron Luna went 2-for-4 and stole his fifth base of the season, but Triple-A Memphis came up short, 6-2, against Round Rock on Thursday. Tyler Greene went 1-for-4 with a double.

• Jorge Rondon blew a save for Double-A Springfield, surrendering four runs in the bottom of the ninth at Northwest Arkansas as the Cardinals lost, 7-6. In the fifth inning, Matt Adams hit his 20th homer of the season.

• Niko Vasquez homered while Xavier Scruggs and Robert Stock each went 3-for-4 as High-A Palm Beach beat Tampa, 5-3.

• Kolton Wong bumped his batting average to .361 as he went 3-for-4 in Low-A Quad Cities' 12-8 loss to Dayton. Oscar Taveras was 3-for-5; he's hitting .380.

• Joseph Bergman, David Medina and Virgil Hill all doubled as short-season Batavia beat Tri-City, 6-3.

• Short-season Johnson City crushed Greeneville, 17-1. Roberto De La Cruz, Matthew Williams and Neal Pritchard homered, David Washington hit his second triple of the season and five players doubled. Jose Pasen allowed one unearned run on five hits in six innings.

• Bradley Watson allowed four earned runs on eight hits in three innings as the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Cardinals lost to the GCL Mets, 5-1.

• Ronnierd Garcia was 3-for-4 with a homer in the rookie-level Dominican Summer League Cardinals' 6-3 victory against the DSL Mariners.