ST. LOUIS -- In the first two games since William Fowler came off the 10-day disabled list, the Cardinals have scored 21 runs. The center fielder has not missed a beat in his return, playing a key role in the team's recent offensive success.
Placed on the DL with a strained left wrist on July 25, and having not taking part in a Minor League rehab assignment, Fowler has four hits, including a triple and two doubles and has scored three runs, in his first three games back. He went 1-for-2 with three walks in Wednesday's 8-5 win over the Cardinals.
"It helps to be healthy," Fowler said before Wednesday's game against the Royals. "After last year I didn't really get too much time off. I kind of was nursing some things and just went along with it, hoping it would go away, but it didn't. Fortunately, I got to come back and [it's] fine."
Fowler has 14 home runs this season and is in place to top his career-best mark (17 with the Cubs in 2015). Despite the multiple injuries he has been dealing with this season, which have included two DL stints, Fowler has shown no rust and appears ready to help the Cardinals as they continue their fight in the NL Central Division.
"Not many guys can take that kind of time off from live action and come back that sharp," manager Mike Matheny said. "That's pretty impressive."
Kevin Siegrist was placed on the 10-day DL on Sunday with forearm tendinitis, opening a spot on the roster for Adam Wainwright. The reliever has been dealing with injuries since Spring Training and is taking the time he has to fully recover.
"I feel all right. Just a little sore, but it's nothing too serious," Siegrist said. "[It] just feels like everything is building up on me right now. Just taking care of it while I can."
The left-hander pitched just one inning this month, when he struck out two on Aug. 3 vs. the Brewers. Siegrist (4.98 ERA) has pitched 34 1/3 innings this season, allowing 19 runs and striking out 36. He is currently doing strength work with the trainers to make sure he is in the best possible condition to return. When that return will be is still unknown.
"I'm really not sure, but I'm not trying to rush anything," Siegrist said. "We'll just take it day by day and see how it feels."
Fowler and Wainwright had an interesting experience as they prepared to make their way back to St. Louis late Tuesday night for the second half of the I-70 series. The pair found themselves on the Royals' bus.
"Waino sat down and was like, 'This is definitely not our bus,'" Fowler said. "I just got on the bus. I followed Waino. I thought Waino knew what he was doing. Obviously, he didn't."
The pair exchanged tweets on the matter on Tuesday, although they both admitted on Wednesday that they only realized they were on the wrong bus when they recognized the few Royals there. Wainwright joked that the bus driver, who had been standing next to the bus, was trying to trick them.
"I looked up and saw Mike Minor and I knew he was not on our team," Wainwright said. "He just pitched against us the inning before."