FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Manager Mike Matheny wasn't going to mandate that Lance Berkman take the long bus ride across Florida on Friday. He was sure glad Berkman chose to do so, though.
Berkman was not initially on the travel roster for the Cardinals' game at the Twins. However, after a Thursday rain delay made for an interrupted work day for many Cards, Berkman asked on. Matheny was happy to have the help, but especially happy to have one of his stars backing up another of his stars, right-hander Adam Wainwright. It was Wainwright's first start since 2010, after he missed all of 2011 due to elbow surgery.
"[I] Talked to him [Thursday] and told him that with Waino going today, we would like to have a good representation," Matheny said. "We wanted to see what he felt like and where he feels he is right now.
"Thought he was going to get a good long day in [Thursday] and the weather didn't cooperate, so then it turned into one [at-bat] and done. We knew he had an opportunity to get in here today and it made sense, so it worked out good. He initiated it after he had left the field, so that was good to see."
Berkman had two hits and a walk in the 3-1 win, nice rewards for making the trip of nearly three hours each way.
Despite overthrow, Robinson gets runner
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Shane Robinson made a great throw that was almost the exact opposite on Friday.
With one out, a runner on second base and a 2-1 Cardinals lead in the seventh inning, the Twins' Tsuyohi Nishioka singled to Robinson in center field. Robinson, playing in, sized up the runner and the ball and decided to take his chances. He fired home, throwing out Wilkin Ramirez at the plate and keeping the Cardinals' lead intact.
Robinson also sailed the throw too high for the cutoff man, so if he hadn't gotten the runner at home, it would have been a much different scenario. He did, though, and the Cards escaped the inning with the lead intact. They went on to win, 3-1, with Robinson delivering an RBI single for an insurance run.
"The play at the plate was a great throw and also a not-so-great throw all at the same time," manager Mike Matheny said.
Robinson stood by the decision to go home. He just regretted not giving the cutoff man even a chance at the ball.
"Ultimately I'd like to have thrown the ball lower," he said, "[but] I had a lot of confidence. I had thought about the play before it happened and I just decided to go with it."
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Obviously, You're Not a Golfer and follow him on Twitter at @MatthewHLeach. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.