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Fowler day to day after being hit on right knee

MLB.com @JoeTrezz

PITTSBURGH -- After spending a month as perhaps baseball's most bruised and battered team, the Cardinals appeared to be getting healthier heading into this weekend series against the Pirates. But they lost two more key veterans Saturday, placing Greg Holland on the disabled list prior to first pitch and playing without Dexter Fowler for much the 4-1 win after the right fielder was hit with a pitch on the outside of his right knee.

Fowler could require a DL stint as well.

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PITTSBURGH -- After spending a month as perhaps baseball's most bruised and battered team, the Cardinals appeared to be getting healthier heading into this weekend series against the Pirates. But they lost two more key veterans Saturday, placing Greg Holland on the disabled list prior to first pitch and playing without Dexter Fowler for much the 4-1 win after the right fielder was hit with a pitch on the outside of his right knee.

Fowler could require a DL stint as well.

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"I don't think they are ruling anything out at this point," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "That's a bad spot. You can tell he was in a lot of pain."

Fowler remained on the ground for several minutes after being struck by a Trevor Williams fastball in the fourth and had to be helped off the field when he eventually returned to his feet. Initial X-rays came back negative, though Fowler was still limping postgame. Further testing is planned for Sunday.

"It was as painful as it looked," Fowler said.

Few team's depth has been tested this season quite like the Cardinals', who returned reliever Tyler Lyons and catcher Carson Kelly from the DL on Saturday. But they've still been forced to endure long stretches without Yadier Molina, Paul DeJong, Carlos Martinez and Adam Wainwright, among other important contributors.

Tyler O'Neill and Harrison Bader figure to fill in should Fowler need to miss substantial time. Bader replaced Fowler in the fourth inning Saturday, and O'Neill started regularly over him this past week. Mired in a season-long slump, Fowler is hitting .157 through 43 games.

"There was certainly something on him to show you he was hit," Matheny said. "There was a lot of swelling. We'll need to keep an eye on it."

Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz.

St. Louis Cardinals, Dexter Fowler