ST. LOUIS (AP) — David Freese of the St. Louis Cardinals missed his fourth straight start with a sprained right ankle, but felt good enough to take pregame batting practice.
Matt Carpenter started at third place in place of Freese on Friday night against the Washington Nationals in a game with postseason implications for both teams. The Cardinals began a six-game homestand to end the season with a magic number of four for securing the second NL wild card, and the Nationals' magic number for clinching the NL East was three.
Before hitting, Freese said the ankle had improved enough for his first baseball activities since rolling the ankle at Houston. Previously, he hit in the indoor cage, took grounders and jogged in the outfield but noted he rounded the turns.
Manager Mike Matheny said he didn't know when Freese, batting .296 with 20 home runs and 79 RBIs, would be back.