St. Louis Cardinals' Chris Carpenter throws in the first inning during a baseball game against the Florida Marlins in Miami, Monday, Sept. 20, 2010. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky) By Lynne Sladky
St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Chris Carpenter throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies on Thursday, Sept. 30, 2010, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) By Jeff Roberson
St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Chris Carpenter adjusts his cap while working during the first during of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2010, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) By Jeff Roberson
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- St. Louis Cardinals projected opening day pitcher Chris Carpenter is set to return from a hamstring injury that sidelined him for two starts.
Carpenter left his March 1 spring debut in the third inning with a left hamstring strain. He's scheduled to make his second spring start Wednesday against the Detroit Tigers in Lakeland, Fla.
Barring another setback, manager Tony La Russa anticipated the right-hander would have no problem elevating his pitch count in time for the opener. Carpenter would get two more spring starts before the March 31 opener against the San Diego Padres at home.
"He kept his arm in shape so it's not going to be a traditional first time out there," La Russa said. "If he takes the ball every time he's supposed to, he should be at 100. He's strong."
Infielder Tyler Greene was absent for a second straight day because of flulike symptoms. Third baseman David Freese, coming off a pair of ankle operations, had the day off after playing on consecutive days. He was scheduled to make the bus trip to play the Tigers on Wednesday.
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