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Wong hoping to return before All-Star break

Second baseman progressing well; Fowler, Molina out of lineup
MLB.com @LangoschMLB

ST. LOUIS -- Kolten Wong, who has been on the disabled list with a right triceps strain since June 15, remains optimistic that he'll be ready to rejoin the Cardinals sometime in the week leading into the All-Star break, the second baseman said on Friday.

Wong increased his baseball activities to include swinging and throwing while the team was on the road. If his rehab work continues without interruption, Wong could be ready to begin a Minor League rehab assignment in about a week.

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ST. LOUIS -- Kolten Wong, who has been on the disabled list with a right triceps strain since June 15, remains optimistic that he'll be ready to rejoin the Cardinals sometime in the week leading into the All-Star break, the second baseman said on Friday.

Wong increased his baseball activities to include swinging and throwing while the team was on the road. If his rehab work continues without interruption, Wong could be ready to begin a Minor League rehab assignment in about a week.

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"I'm pretty close," he said. "I feel good. I feel strong. We're just trying to make sure there's no pain. I tried to come back quick the last time, and [that] got me back on the DL. So I told them, and they kind of told me, that this time we're going to make sure everything's cleared [and that] there's no pain when you come back so you're ready to go and be ready for the next half of the season."

Wong was on the DL earlier this month due to left elbow tightness, but began feeling discomfort in his right forearm while on a rehab assignment. He came off the DL anyway, played in six games then was sidelined again.

Though the Cardinals have received sufficient production from Wong's replacement (Paul DeJong), the club has been at its best this year when Wong is on the field. St. Louis is 24-19 when he starts and 9-19 in all other games.

"From what I'm feeling now and all the tests I've been doing, I'm stronger than what I was before I got hurt," Wong said. "It's good right now where I am, and I think there's no real reason to wait. If I can come back and get in a couple series before the All-Star break, that would be huge."

Medical report

The Cardinals were without two ailing veterans, Dexter Fowler and Yadier Molina, in their series-opening lineup Friday. Fowler sat for the second straight day since being removed late in Wednesday's game with left quad tightness. He increased his pregame activities but was not cleared to play.

As for Molina, he is still dealing with lingering soreness related to a foul ball he took off the knee Thursday. Like Fowler, the Cardinals expect Molina to return to the lineup on Saturday.

Video: STL@PHI: Molina singles to push hitting streak to 10

Worth noting

Randal Grichuk seems to have found some offensive traction with Triple-A Memphis, as he has hit safely in six straight games and connected for four home runs in his last four games. He's now hitting .264/.316/.585 in 12 games with Memphis, but he also has struck out 17 times in 53 at-bats.

• Two weeks after being released by the Cardinals, infielder Jhonny Peralta signed a Minor League deal with the Red Sox on Friday. Peralta is slated to report to Boston's Triple-A affiliate in Pawtucket on Monday.

• The Cardinals announced plans to hold their first Pride Night at Busch Stadium on Aug. 25. A portion of each ticket purchased at cardinals.com/pride will be donated to the PrideSTL Scholarship Fund.

• Speedy outfielder Magneuris Sierra stole home in the first inning of Double-A Springfield's 4-2 win over Arkansas on Thursday. Since opening the year 4-for-11 in steal attempts with High A Palm Beach and the Cardinals, Sierra has been successful in seven of nine tries with Springfield.

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast.

St. Louis Cardinals, Kolten Wong