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Cardinals hope Holliday can avoid DL stint

CHICAGO -- The Cardinals are hopeful that star outfielder Matt Holliday will be able to avoid a trip to the 15-day disabled list because of the right hamstring injury that caused him to leave a game at Wrigley Field on Thursday night.

Holliday grabbed for his right hamstring while running out a ground ball in the fourth inning and headed straight to the training room. Treatments were started immediately and he went through another round of therapy on Friday before the second of a four-game series against the Cubs. Holliday appeared fine while walking around and hasn't gotten an MRI done.

"We'll go day to day, but he's definitely better today than he was [Thursday night], which is a good sign," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "They gave him just a clinical evaluation with our trainers and they were all very pleased with the progression.

"Obviously there's something going on there. I mean, he's tough as nails. You see him come up like that before he gets to the base, you know something's going on -- but I think he was able to shut it down in time, before it got to the point where you'd have to go get a picture [MRI]."

Allen Craig hit fourth and replaced Holliday in left field on Friday, while Carlos Beltran hit in the third spot of the order -- where Holliday usually hits.

Jon Jay took Beltran's normal spot in the second slot and Matt Adams -- who replaced Holliday on Thursday night -- got the start at first base. As for Holliday, the Cardinals might catch a break in terms of timing. The All-Star break is looming at the start of next week and the extra rest provided for him might be enough to keep away from a DL stint.

Matheny also didn't rule out a return in this series, but that would come as a surprise.

"It could be good for all of our guys who have nicks and bruises, let alone something that is standing out like this," Matheny said. "The break can always be a good time to get yourself mended up."

Brian Hedger is a contributor to
Read More: St. Louis Cardinals, Matt Holliday