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06/07/10 9:03 PM ET

Rasmus sits opener with calf tightness

Cards center fielder named NL Player of Week on Monday

LOS ANGELES -- Cardinals center fielder Colby Rasmus was out of the starting lineup on Monday against the Dodgers after experiencing tightness in his left calf that caused him to leave Sunday's game against the Brewers in the sixth inning.

"I get the feeling that Colby has the chance to play tomorrow or Wednesday," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said.

Rasmus was named the National League Player of the Week on Monday after batting .500 (11-for-22) with three home runs, nine RBIs and eight runs scored last week.

"He earned it," La Russa said. "It's a tough time for him to go down but it's the way it is."

Cards' Freese likely out until Friday

LOS ANGELES -- Cardinals third baseman David Freese was held out of the starting lineup for the second straight game on Monday because of a sprained right ankle and isn't expected to return to the starting lineup until Friday.

"With a sprained ankle, I expect him not to play until Friday unless it's all gone," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said.

Freese, who is batting .314 with four homers and 32 RBIs, is available to pinch-hit, however, like he did on Sunday against the Brewers when he grounded out in the sixth inning in his first appearance as a pinch-hitter this season.

Hawksworth gets first big league start

LOS ANGELES -- The Cardinals finally decided on their starter for Monday's series opener against the Dodgers, announcing that right-hander Blake Hawksworth will make his first Major League start after 48 career relief appearances.

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said before Monday's game that he decided to start Hawksworth over fellow right-hander P.J. Walters, who will remain in the bullpen.

"I just think P.J. can make an appearance or two coming out of the 'pen rather than the burden of starting a game," La Russa said.

Hawksworth, who is 0-2 with a 5.14 ERA this season, had success against the Dodgers last year, when he went 1-0 with a 2.55 ERA in two relief appearances before throwing a scoreless inning against Los Angeles in Game 1 of the National League Division Series.

La Russa said he hoped Hawksworth could provide four innings in his spot start against the Dodgers.

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.