9/6/2013 12:49 A.M. ET
Cruz returns to action for Cardinals
By Mark Schmetzer / Special to MLB.com
CINCINNATI -- Tony Cruz swinging a bat free and easy was the final thing manager Mike Matheny needed to see before putting his catcher back in the lineup, and that's what he saw during batting practice before Wednesday's game. Thus Cruz saw his name in the lineup on Thursday -- his first appearance since injuring his left forearm on Aug. 14.
"It is exciting after being out that many days," Cruz said. "The swing was one thing he wanted to see, to see if there was a little hesitation. Everything's pretty good so far. That's why they put me in there."
One potential challenge facing by Cruz in his return is Cincinnati's precocious basestealer, rookie Billy Hamilton, who set a single-season record with 155 thefts in 2012 and led the International League with 75 this season. Hamilton stole a base and scored a run on both Tuesday and Wednesday in his first games with the Reds.
"There aren't many true basestealers out there any more," Cruz said. "It's exciting to get a guy out there like that. You're always up to the challenge. You hope he doesn't get on."
Adams makes history with extra-inning homers
CINCINNATI -- Matt Adams rewrote a couple of records with his home runs in the 14th and 16th innings of St. Louis' 5-4 win over Cincinnati on Wednesday night.
The left-handed-hitting first baseman, in the game only because Allen Craig sprained his left foot in the fourth inning, became the first player in Cardinals' history to hit two extra-inning homers in a game.
He also became the first player in Major League history to hit two home runs in the 14th inning or later of the same game, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
"That's a ton of games," Adams said before Thursday's finale of the four-game series. "It's pretty surprising. It's pretty cool to be the first."
Adams learned of his accomplishment while watching ESPN's SportsCenter. Though he received a lot of congratulatory messages from family members and friends, none of them mentioned records.
"They thought it was pretty cool that we pulled it out in extra innings," he said.
That was all that mattered to manager Mike Matheny, who wasn't aware of the history made by Adams until he was told by media members before Thursday's game.
"I didn't hear all the stats, but I knew it was big for us," Matheny said.
Craig diagnosed with sprained, not fractured, foot
CINCINNATI -- First baseman Allen Craig was diagnosed with a sprain in his left foot on Thursday after undergoing X-rays and an MRI.
The evaluation, performed by Dr. Joshua Nadaud, a foot and ankle specialist from Mercy Hospital in St. Louis, determined that there is no fracture in the foot. Craig will wear a walking boot for protection and is to be re-evaluated early next week by Nadaud and the Cardinals' medical staff.
Craig sustained the injury while rounding first base on what was scored as an infield single in the fourth inning of St. Louis' 5-4, 16-inning win on Wednesday at Cincinnati.
Manager Mike Matheny is pleased with the diagnosis.
"There's no fracture," Matheny said. "That's a big positive for us."
Especially since Craig was in so much pain that he couldn't even try to get back to first before being tagged out by Reds' first baseman Joey Votto.
"When you watch him go down like that and then need help getting off the field, you wonder if he's ever going to play again," Matheny said. "Now it's more optimistic."
With Craig out, first-base duties are being handled by Matt Adams, who hit a pair of extra-inning homers in Wednesday's win but went 0-for-3 in Thursday's loss.
Matheny wants clarification on lack of interference call
CINCINNATI -- Manager Mike Matheny still was wondering on Thursday about Billy Hamilton's stolen base in the 14th inning of Wednesday's game.
The Cincinnati rookie was on first base as a pinch-runner with nobody out, Zack Cozart batting and St. Louis leading, 4-3. Hamilton took off for second as Cozart swung and missed with a lunge that left him bent at the waist. Catcher Yadier Molina just missed throwing out Hamilton; both he and Matheny argued with plate umpire Tim Timmons that Cozart interfered with Molina.
"To me it was impeding the throw," Matheny, a former catcher, said after the game, adding that he planned to talk with umpires for clarification.
Matheny didn't have a chance to do that before Thursday's game, but it still was in his plans.
"I need to hear their definition so I can properly argue," he said. "I still have a hard time believing that leaning across the plate doesn't impede the throw. They said it was the timing -- that the ball was already gone -- but you don't see Yadi make a throw like that and come up short. He couldn't stride."
Mark Schmetzer is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.