- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 18, 2015

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Cardinals outfielder Jason Heyward is out of the starting lineup a day after being removed from a game with left hamstring tightness, an injury manager Mike Matheny believes may have been cramping.

“It’s a good report,” Matheny said. “It’s something that could be extremely quick.”

Rookie Tommy Pham started in center against the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday night.

Matheny is hopeful Heyward will be available soon for a team already minus three outfielders. Randal Grichuk, Matt Holliday and Jon Jay are all injured.

Heyward is batting .287 with 11 home runs and 43 RBIs. Matheny believed Heyward might have been fatigued from working out earlier in the day rather than the game.

Heyward played two innings, struck out in his lone at-bat and didn’t have a play in center field.

“He just couldn’t get himself loose,” Matheny said. “He did quite a bit of work that maybe wasn’t during the game, but quite a bit of running around doing whatever he normally does.”

Matheny says Pham got the nod over veteran Peter Bourjos because he had been playing regularly and doing well at Triple-A Memphis before being recalled when Grichuk went on the 15-day disabled list Monday with an elbow strain.

“Peter Bourjos, we’ve just got to get him going,” Matheny said, while passing on an opportunity to do just that.

Pham was 0 for 3 after replacing Heyward Monday with two groundouts and a strikeout.

But he batted .354 the last 23 games before the call-up with 17 RBIs. He got all three of his RBIs, including his first career homer, in a victory over the Padres in early July.

Bourjos, once the focal point ahead of Grichuk in the deal that sent David Freese to the Angels after the 2013 season, is a superior defender but has been lightly used and was batting .216 in 171 at-bats with two homers and 11 RBIs.

“Tommy’s been hot; we saw the results of that the last time he came up,” Matheny said. “It’s pretty obvious he brings a hot bat and I think he can play a good center field.”


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