ST. LOUIS -- Jake Westbrook took another step toward rejoining the Cardinals rotation.
Westbrook made his first rehab start Tuesday night as he recovers from right elbow inflammation. The 35-year-old right-hander threw 60 pitches over 3 2/3 innings with Double-A Springfield, allowing six hits and one earned run while striking out five. Forty-five of his 60 pitches were strikes.
"I felt pretty good," Westbrook said. "It was good to get up four times, get into the fourth inning. Threw a few long innings the first couple, but everything felt good, which was good.
"I was a little erratic with my pitches, but I guess that's understandable the first time out. It wasn't terrible by any means, but I was not as sharp as I would liked to have been."
Westbrook was placed on the 15-day disabled list on May 12, and a setback extended his stay. He will throw another bullpen in a few days and intends to increase his pitch count to about 75-80 for another rehab start at Single-A Peoria on Sunday. After that start, he said he expects to be ready to return to the Cardinals.
"With the 60 [pitches] and hopefully 75-80 next start, then the next start could be 100, which is where they would want me to be," Westbrook said. "If I was able to throw 100 pitches, I would obviously feel like I could be capable of doing that in the big leagues."
D-backs plunk Carpenter three times, tie record
ST. LOUIS -- Matt Carpenter needed only two hits to reach base in five of his seven plate appearances Tuesday night, one of them a leadoff triple. The Diamondbacks' pitchers did the rest, hitting Carpenter three times with pitches, tying the Major League record for most times in one game by a player.
Carpenter took a pitch to his hand in the seventh, forearm in the ninth and shoulder in the 13th, and he said he's lucky to not have been hurt.
"I think my exact words were, 'Three times? Really?'" Carpenter said. "It is what it is. Obviously they're not doing it on purpose with getting the tying run, winning run on base. They were definitely trying to make pitches inside. I just got hit three times. It's an unfortunate deal."
Carpenter become the second player to be plunked three times by Arizona in a game, and he set the Cardinals single-game record.
"That does not happen often, and I"m sure nobody is going to attempt to break that anytime soon."
The last player to be hit by a pitch three times in one game was Austin Kearns in 2010 with the Indians. Before Tuesday, Carpenter had only been hit by pitch four times in his career and once this season.
Kelly not concerned about stamina in spot start
ST. LOUIS -- Joe Kelly is set to make his first start of the season Wednesday against Arizona as a fill-in for Shelby Miller, who was pushed back to Thursday after pitching Game 1 of Saturday's doubleheader.
Though Kelly started 16 games last season -- tallying a 5-7 record and a 3.53 ERA -- the right-hander has only pitched in relief this year. But Kelly isn't concerned about stretching out to a starter's workload.
"I don't know if I'm that kind of guy where I need to be built up," Kelly said. "If they ask for 80 pitches, I'll be able to give them 80 pitches."
Kelly has a 6.75 ERA this season, allowing 14 earned runs through 18 2/3 innings. He has pitched more than one inning just five times this year, with his longest outing coming on May 25 in Los Angeles. He threw a season-high 62 pitches in three-plus innings of relief against the Dodgers.
"I'm just gonna try to go out there and get early outs and be efficient and sufficient for these guys," Kelly said. "Especially if we're going to be down one in the bullpen, I'll try to go as many as I can."
Kelly hasn't pitched since May 30, when he threw just eight pitches in one scoreless inning. Kelly was inserted into the rotation last season as a fill-in starter for Jaime Garcia but was into the bullpen when Garcia came off the disabled list and has remained there since.
"He's done a nice job the last couple times out," said Cardinals manager Mike Matheny. "Been able to keep him from getting too much work. He's ready to go and he's shown that he can handle it."
Carpenter continues to thrive in leadoff spot
Matt Carpenter always thought he might make a good leadoff hitter. And this season, he's gotten the opportunity to show it, batting .336 with a .422 OBP through 35 games batting first.
"Just given the way that I take an at-bat and, you know, get on base, I thought that there would be a possibility that I could be a good leadoff hitter, but I just never really fit the mold," Carpenter said. "Never really got that opportunity. I've enjoyed it. I want to get on there for these guys and keep our offense rolling."
Carpenter extended a career-high 13-game hitting streak with a leadoff triple on Tuesday night against Arizona, and he currently leads the Cardinals in multihit games with 22. He is tied with three others for for the National League-lead in doubles at 18.
The Cardinals have been particularly effective driving in Carpenter in the first inning this season. He has scored 16 times in the first, which is at least 10 more runs than in any other inning.
"I feel like every time I get on there, someone drives me in," Carpenter said. "The guys behind me are incredible. … If I can just get on, those guys will find a way to get me in there."
• Matheny said he was fined for his actions following Yadier Molina's ejection Sunday. The manager ran out onto the field to protest the ejection and was also tossed from the game.
In his postgame press conference, he spoke out strongly against first-base umpire Clint Fagan's decision to eject Molina.
"It kind of goes along with the territory," Matheny said of the fine.
• Reliever Mitchell Boggs started for Triple-A Memphis on Monday. He pitched two scoreless innings, surrendering three hits and striking out two.
Boggs was demoted to Triple-A on Friday after taking the loss in the Cardinals' collapse in the ninth inning on Thursday.
• David Freese, Jon Jay and other Cardinals players welcomed 50 children from Mission: St. Louis for a meet and greet before Tuesday's game as part of Major League Baseball Players Trust's "Buses for Baseball" program.
The program provides transportation, game tickets and an opportunity to interact with players to underprivileged children.
Chad Thornburg is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.