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Freese exits Game 3 with right calf tightness

Cardinals third baseman hopes to be available for Game 4 of the NLCS

LOS ANGELES -- Cardinals third baseman David Freese was forced to leave Game 3 of the National League Championship Series on Monday night after feeling tightness in his right calf, and his availability for Game 4 (Tuesday at 7 p.m. CT on TBS) is in question.

Freese felt the calf tighten when he swung at a 1-0 pitch in the fifth inning. St. Louis ended up losing the game, 3-0, and now leads the series 2-1.

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Later in the at-bat, Freese would single to right, and he advanced to second when Matt Adams followed with a base hit of his own. Cards manager Mike Matheny then sent Daniel Descalso to pinch-run for Freese.

"It was just during that AB, then I took off running and it was pretty tight," Freese said. "It just kind of tightened up on me, and obviously Mike felt it was necessary to take me out just in case we needed someone to score."

Descalso immediately committed a baserunning blunder by getting doubled off second on Jon Jay's fly ball to left.

As for Freese, he was taken to the trainer's room, where he spent the game icing the calf.

"I think it's just tight," Freese said. "I don't think I strained it too bad, but we'll check it out tomorrow. I hope I can play tomorrow, but we'll check it out."

"Right now, it's day to day," Matheny said, "and we expect him to be ready to go."

Freese was asked if he thought that he could pinch-hit even if he could not run well enough to start the game.

"Yeah, I think so," he said. "But we'll get some rest tonight and just see how it feels tomorrow, and hopefully I can push it and get back in there."

The Cardinals' offense has struggled through the first three games of the series, with only four runs and 13 hits. And with Allen Craig already out for the series due to an injury, the team can ill afford to lose Freese's bat as well.

"I don't know," Freese said when asked how the Cards could snap out of their funk at the plate. "We just wake up tomorrow and come ready to go. We're fortunate that we won the first two, and obviously [it was] a tough loss today, but we've got to get the sticks going a little bit."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

St. Louis Cardinals, David Freese