09/08/12 8:10 PM ET
Matheny gives struggling Beltran day off
By Steve Overbey / Special to MLB.com
Beltran, who is bothered by a sore left hand and an aching left knee, went 0-for-5 in Friday's 5-4, 13-inning loss to the Milwaukee Brewers. He is hitless in his last 13 at-bats and hasn't had an extra-base hit in 48 trips to the plate.
Matheny is hoping the rest will help Beltran both mentally and physically. Beltran's average sits at .261, its lowest since May 1.
Beltran, who had a cortisone shot to help his hand, got off to a strong start this season. He was batting .312 as late as June 29.
"There have been some physical things that have been bothering him and sometimes those lead to mechanical adjustments, more than are necessary," Matheny said.
Beltran is 11 for his last 80 at the plate.
Matheny indicated that he might give Beltran more than one day off, if it will help down the road.
"We're going to start with today and just see how things go down in the cage," Matheny said. "I know he's going to fight a prolonged rest, claiming that's not what he needs. We'll see how his work goes."
Beltran sat out Monday's and Tuesday's games but returned Wednesday with an 0-for-4 performance against New York.
"He's on the brink of being able to head in the right direction," Matheny said. "We're going to watch him physically and give him time to get it worked out mentally. He's had some very good at-bats for us -- and I see that happening again soon."
Chambers notches first outfield assist
ST. LOUIS -- St. Louis outfielder Adron Chambers will never forget his first outfield assist.
Chambers gunned down Milwaukee catcher Martin Maldonado at second base on Friday to end the top of the 11th inning during the Brewers' 5-4, 13-inning win.
The Pensacola, Fla., native calmly fielded the ball off the wall and quickly fired a one-hop throw to Pete Kozma at second.
"I knew I wouldn't be able to catch it, but I told myself that if I could get it quickly off the wall, I would have a chance," Chambers said.
Chambers, who came into the game in left field in the ninth inning, was recalled on Tuesday. This is his second stint on the Major League roster this season. He was also called up May 18 for 33 days.
Chambers made his first start May 22 against San Diego. He has appeared in 26 games this season and is hitting .256 with three RBIs. He joined the team last September and made five postseason appearances.
A 38th-round choice by St. Louis in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft, Chambers picked up the assist in his 44th big league game.
"As an outfielder, you always want to show off your arm," he said. "It felt good, real good."
Mujica settling in as Cards' seventh-inning man
ST. LOUIS -- Reliever Edward Mujica continued his impressive run out of the bullpen on Friday.
Mujica has not been scored upon in 17 appearances since being acquired from Miami on July 31.
The right-hander wriggled out of a seventh-inning jam to keep the game against Milwaukee tied at 2. With runners on second and third and one away, he got Norichika Aoki to ground out before striking out Rickie Weeks to end the inning.
Mujica has allowed just four of 22 inherited runners to score.
The 28-year-old is relishing his role as the Cardinals' seventh-inning man.
"When I first got here [manager Mike] Matheny showed confidence in me," he said. "It made me focus, so I could do the job."
Mujica lives in Miami and had to leave his wife Erika and the couple's first child, Brianna, behind for the time being. He says that is the only downside to the trade. Brianna was 21 days old at the time of the deal.
"It's a business and at first, it kind of hurt, but you've got to move on," he said. "I feel good here and this is definitely what's best for me."
Mujica, who is 0-3 overall this season, is 0-0 in a St. Louis uniform. He has allowed just nine hits in 16 innings.
Mujica is 17-18 in seven Major League seasons, including stints in San Diego, Cleveland and Miami. He was injured during the Indians' 2007 postseason run and has yet to appear in a postseason game.
"I'm trying to change that," he said. "It going to be fun the rest of the month."
• Outfielder Matt Holliday returned to the lineup Saturday after not starting Wednesday and Friday due to tightness in his lower back. Holliday, who tweaked the back Tuesday against New York, pinch-hit Friday in the ninth inning of a 5-4, 13-inning loss to Milwaukee. Holliday missed his first game since June 10.
• The Springfield Redbirds beat Tulsa 4-2 on Friday to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five Texas League semifinal series. Oscar Taveras and Audry Perez had two hits each. Kevin Siegrist allowed two runs and four hits in five innings to pick up the win. The Cardinals' Double-A affiliate is trying to reach the championship series for the second time in eight seasons in the league.
• The Cardinals begin a key seven-game road trip on Monday in San Diego. They play four games in Los Angeles beginning Thursday.
Steve Overbey is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.