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04/24/12 1:31 AM ET

Schumaker singles in return to Redbirds' lineup

CHICAGO -- One day after getting his first at-bat of the season, Skip Schumaker singled in three at-bats while batting second and playing center field. He exited for pinch-hitter Shane Robinson in the eighth inning of a 3-2 loss to the Cubs.

Schumaker began the season on the disabled list with an oblique strain, and he first entered the lineup Friday. His return was short-lived, however, as he ran into the center-field wall on Pirates leadoff hitter Alex Presley's eventual inside-the-park home run.

He pinch-hit in Sunday's victory, singling to center and eventually coming around to score.

"He was wanting to get in there in the worst way, so it's nice to get him [in there]," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "Guys were pretty excited for him, too. He didn't expect to start the season on the DL, then come back for two pitches, then go back in the trainer's room. So it was good for him and I'm excited to watch him get out there tonight."

Schumaker concluded Monday's game 6-for-11 with a double in his career against Cubs right-hander Matt Garza, who started the series opener.

Jay's jammed shoulder injury not serious

CHICAGO -- An MRI on Jon Jay's sprained right shoulder Monday showed no structural damage, confirming what the outfielder and Cardinals had thought all along.

Jay did not play in the Cards' 3-2 loss on Monday and plans to begin working his way back into the lineup Tuesday. He suffered the injury Thursday when he jammed his shoulder into the outfield wall in St. Louis.

Jay -- who underwent the MRI early Monday before meeting the team in Chicago -- said how he feels day to day will determine how quickly he returns. Jay said now that he knows everything is structurally sound, he'll look at the injury as a bruise and "just deal with it."

"[Making sure there was no added damage] was the biggest thing with the MRI, and that's why I was happy with the results," Jay said. "I can't mess it up any more so I can continue to push it, which is what I wanted to hear."

Both Jay and Matheny said there is no timetable for the outfielder's return.

"We'll wait and see what we hear tomorrow," Matheny said. "Just try not to get too far ahead in the expectations."

Greene gets call against tough right-hander

CHICAGO -- Tyler Greene received his second straight start in Monday's 3-2 loss to the Cubs, as Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said he's been impressed with the second baseman's play as of late.

"Yesterday, it looked he was tracking the ball well, wasn't jumping, wasn't swinging at a lot of bad pitches," Matheny said. "So you see somebody who, their timing looks right, you figure out how to give them an opportunity to get going."

Greene, who went 0-for-2 with a walk Monday, produced a pinch-hit single in Friday's loss against the Pirates before going 1-for-4 with a run in Sunday's win. Matheny also said he likes the way Greene has been playing in the field, adding that he didn't put Greene in Monday's lineup just so the second baseman could play consecutive days.

"It just looked like it fit," Matheny said. "I like what I've seen at the plate and, with that being said, too, [Cubs starter Matt] Garza's a tough draw for anybody. But with the kind of at-bats Tyler's been taking, I think it gives us a good [chance]."

Batting from cleanup spot, Beltran drives in run

CHICAGO -- With regular cleanup hitter Lance Berkman on the disabled list, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny has continued to pencil outfielder Carlos Beltran into the four-hole.

The veteran outfielder, who was hitless in a 3-2 loss Monday but drove in a run, has hit well in the run-producing spot, finished the day hitting .235 with a home run and four RBIs as the cleanup hitter.

Although four of Beltran's five homers this year have come from the two-hole, Matheny said the switch-hitter -- now in his 15th season -- has proven throughout his career he's capable of batting fourth.

"You have a long history of being able to put tough at-bats together in tough situations, you deserve an opportunity to be in that spot. So, to me, he's a good fit there," Matheny said.

Matheny also added that, while he thinks he has other hitters who could bat cleanup, he'd prefer not to mess with combination of David Freese and Yadier Molina batting fifth and sixth, respectively.

Worth noting

• Outfielder Matt Holliday was the only Cardinal who entered Monday with more than 10 career at-bats against Garza. Matheny was asked what he looks at when selecting a lineup when most everybody has small sample sizes against the opponents' starting pitcher.

"You look at the walks, you look at the strikeouts, you look at the damage, the extra-base hits, so all that goes into the equation," Matheny said. "But, like I've told you from the beginning, most of it is going to come down to a gut feel, what I see, what I think."

• The Cardinals and Cubs split their six games at Wrigley Field last year.

• Allen Craig went 3-for-4 with three singles and a strikeout as the designated hitter in a rehab start Monday night for Class A Advanced Palm Beach.

Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.