STL@PIT: Peralta homers to left field

ST. LOUS -- Stuck in a prolonged slump to begin his Cardinals career, Jhonny Peralta was out of Saturday's lineup against the Cubs. Daniel Descalso started at short, batting eighth.

Peralta entered Saturday hitting .063 and was 0-for-3 in Friday's contest before being getting subbed out in the eighth.

"More reading his body, reading how everything was going, we could have given him one that last day on Wednesday before the off-day, given him two days," manager Mike Matheny said. "But we're more concerned with just getting him going, sometimes just throwing him back in there, but when that doesn't work, sometimes you give them some extra rest and hopefully they'll get in some extra swings and figure out what they need to do."

Peralta has just two hits in the Cardinals' first 10 games, both of which were home runs. Compounding the issue is that Allen Craig (.088) and Matt Holliday (.216) continue to struggle as well.

Matheny is confident the offense, including Peralta, will turn it around.

"This is a hard game, every aspect of it, especially on the offensive side and we're going at it the same way," Matheny said. "The guys are putting their time in and they are controlling everything they can control, with their attitude, their work level, their concentration. All the things that they can do, they're doing. They're just not getting the results and that's part of this tough game, but it's going to come around."

Worth noting

Adam Wainwright was searching for career win No. 101 when he took the mound Saturday against the Cubs. Wainwright's 101st win would tie him for 10th on the Cardinals' all-time wins list with Matt Morris, Larry Jackson and Max Lanier.

Mark Ellis (patella tendinitis) is likely headed to Triple-A Memphis for a rehab assignment. The move has not been confirmed by the team, but Matheny said the move "appears to be the case" before Saturday's game against the Cubs.

Cubs ace Jeff Samardzija had nothing but praise for the Cardinals after he helped pitch the Cubs to a 6-3 win in the series opener Friday night.

"I like to compete and if I'm going to compete, I like to compete against the best, and that's the Cardinals," Samardzija said. "Over the past five years, you can't say there's a better team in the league. I was happy to do my job."

Triple-A Memphis beat Iowa, 8-5, in its home opener Friday night. Oscar Taveras went 3-for-4 and Ed Easley belted a two-run homer for the Redbirds.