ST. LOUIS (AP) - A night after making his first start at third base since 2002, Albert Pujols was back at first base.
Manager Tony La Russa said before Tuesday night's game against the Philadelphia Phillies that Pujols might make a handful of starts at third the rest of the season. Pujols fielded five chances in a 3-1 victory Monday, starting a double play and going to his left to make a nice stop and struggled only on a potential double-play grounder that he bobbled, settling for a forceout.
La Russa juggled his lineup Monday, shifting four players to move Allen Craig from second base, where he has little experience to right field. That move was based on the Phillies' left-handed bats against right-hander Jake Westbrook.
Craig started at second base Tuesday, with La Russa reasoning that he'd get fewer chances with left-hander Jaime Garcia pitching for St. Louis.
The Cardinals have been making do at third base since David Freese broke his left hand in early May, an injury that's expected to sideline him until mid-July.
Pujols said he'd be willing to play wherever La Russa needs him. Before Monday's game, he said he worried most about handling bunts.