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Carpenter, Pham back in Cardinals' lineup

Wong given another day off before returning from injury
Special to MLB.com

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals returned to Busch Stadium on Friday from their 10-game road trip with a couple of their regulars ready to return to the lineup.

Matt Carpenter and Tommy Pham are back. Kolten Wong is close.

Full Game Coverage

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals returned to Busch Stadium on Friday from their 10-game road trip with a couple of their regulars ready to return to the lineup.

Matt Carpenter and Tommy Pham are back. Kolten Wong is close.

Full Game Coverage

Carpenter (right shoulder bursitis) and Pham (right shoulder soreness) were in the startling lineup for Friday night's game against the Pirates. Carpenter played at third base and led off, drawing three walks in four plate appearances and scoring a run in the Cardinals' 4-1 victory. Pham also scored a run, going 0-for-2 with a walk and starting in center field.

Wong (back tightness) is expected to be back for Saturday's game.

"I thought Kolten might be ready to go today," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "It looked like he needed one more [day], from what we were hearing. So we'll get Tommy and Carp back in there, and Kolten, it sounds like he's probably available to come off the bench and do whatever we need him to do today."

Wong said he'd be ready to go when called upon.

"One more day is going to be probably what I need," Wong said. "I took ground balls today, I took some swings. I felt a little tightness, but I think precautionary they just wanted me to take one more day off. At this point, tightness is kind of part of the game. One more day would be good, but I told them I'm ready if they need me to pinch-hit, double-switch or whatnot. I'll be ready to go."

Wong said his lower-back tightness came out of nowhere. He caught a cutoff throw and his back just gave out.

"I couldn't put my shoes on," Wong said. "I couldn't put my socks on. Nothing. For someone who's 26, you never expect to go through that kind of injury. But it happens. I'm ready to go now."

Caution with Gyorko
Matheny offered an update on third baseman Jedd Gyorko, who is working to come back from right hamstring injury that landed him in the disabled list on Aug. 27.

"Still haven't been given a timeline or many updates," Matheny said. "I've been watching him hit -- the ball's jumping -- but we can't pinch-run from home to first. We have to make sure he can get out of the box."

Matheny said the Cardinals need to be careful with Gyorko to not risk reinjuring the hamstring.

"With that injury in particular, if he takes a hard step, hits a ball in a big situation, he's got to try and give everything he can," Matheny said. "If he re-aggravated that, then we'd be done with it for the year. We've made too many steps forward. We'll let him and the training staff figure out how to take advantage of the positive steps he's made forward."

Nate Latsch is a contributor to MLB.com

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

St. Louis Cardinals, Matt Carpenter, Tommy Pham, Kolten Wong