ST. LOUIS -- As manager Tony La Russa held his customary pregame briefing with reporters on Tuesday, his attention was somewhat divided. While answering questions, he was also exchanging text messages with hitting coach Mark McGwire.
That's because McGwire's wife Stephanie gave birth to three baby girls on Tuesday. The girls have not been named yet, but La Russa said that McGwire told him that mother and babies are all doing well.
"Just got a text," La Russa said. "She delivered all three of them. Names to be determined in 24 hours or so. Amazing."
La Russa did not say when McGwire would rejoin the team, but it is unlikely to be before Thursday's off-day. The Cardinals open a series with the Brewers on Friday.
Penny begins throwing program
ST. LOUIS -- Brad Penny began a throwing program on Tuesday and the Cardinals remain optimistic that the right-hander can return to their starting rotation within two weeks. Penny has not pitched since suffering a strained right lat muscle on May 21.
"You wait till it really gets serious and he's actually throwing off the mound and facing hitters, and then you start picking a day," manager Tony La Russa said. "I just know he's making progress."
Penny played catch on Tuesday afternoon prior to the Cardinals' game against the Reds. According to general manager John Mozeliak, Penny will play catch again on Wednesday, take Thursday off and most likely throw a bullpen in the days soon after.
"I think we'll have a much better gauge of his situation probably over the weekend," Mozeliak said.
Mozeliak initially estimated that Penny might miss only the minimum 15 days required by his disabled-list stint, but that is no longer a possibility.
Lopez lifted with bruised thumb
ST. LOUIS -- With the Cardinals already resting starting right fielder Ryan Ludwick with a sore thumb, infielder Felipe Lopez joined his teammate on the bench midway through the fifth inning of Tuesday night's 9-8 loss against the Reds due to a similar ailment.
Lopez was lifted from the game with a bruised right thumb. He suffered the injury on a hard-hit grounder from Reds center fielder Drew Stubbs in the top of the fifth frame. Lopez bobbled the ball before throwing late to first.
"He hit it good," Lopez said. "I was just trying to get in front of it and trying to block it. That was it. I caught a bad bounce and it hit me."
Both Lopez and Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said they would wait until Wednesday to determine Lopez's status.
"The good news is it's not broken," Lopez said. "X-rays are negative. We'll see how I wake up tomorrow."
Lopez was replaced by Brendan Ryan. The embattled former starting shortstop delivered quickly, doubling in two runs in the sixth to give the Redbirds the lead. Ryan is hitting .200 with a .278 on-base percentage and a .285 slugging percentage for the season.
Miles up with Cards; Craig heads to Triple-A
ST. LOUIS -- Greeted by grins and hugs from teammates, Aaron Miles returned to the home clubhouse at Busch Stadium on Tuesday. The Cardinals purchased Miles' contract on Tuesday, optioning outfielder Allen Craig to Triple-A Memphis. Miles had been playing at Double-A Springfield.
Miles, 33, was a member of the Cardinals from 2006-08 and enjoyed his best Major League seasons in St. Louis. He was a part of the '06 World Series title team, and in '08, he batted .317 with a .355 on-base percentage for the Redbirds.
He signed as a free agent with the Cubs before the 2009 season and has had a tough time since, being traded twice before the Reds released him this spring. Miles signed a Minor League deal with the Cardinals on April 27, starting at extended spring training before reporting to Springfield.
"I'm excited," Miles said. "It's been a tough go for me to get back, at least this year. ... It is a great place to play there and I am just excited to be here to help this ballclub."
Miles was called up to add versatility to the Cardinals' bench. He plays three positions and is a switch-hitter. Additionally, the club would like for Craig to play regularly and get frequent at-bats.
"I thought we were doing [Craig] a disservice being up here and not getting at-bats," general manager John Mozeliak said. "A lot has been made about our younger bench, and candidly I think they've done a good job. But looking into the future, I would hate for us to look at this year and see some of our up-and-coming prospects not play."
Miles is a favorite of manager Tony La Russa's and was very popular with teammates and fans when he played in St. Louis before.
Ludwick out with sore thumb; Jay starts
ST. LOUIS -- Ryan Ludwick was held out of the Cardinals' lineup on Tuesday night after suffering a left thumb injury on Monday. Jon Jay got the nod in his place in right field.
Ludwick jammed the thumb sliding into second base in the fifth inning trying to break up a double play.
"He slid into second and his thumb is a little achy, so there's no reason to push him," manager Tony La Russa said.
For the game, Ludwick went 2-for-4 with a walk but flied out in both at-bats after the injury.
"If I had to play today, I could play," Ludwick said. "It is just one of those things where giving it a day probably isn't a bad idea. Taking a day off here and there, not only will help this, but it rests your body, and obviously Jon Jay is plenty capable of playing out there."
Jay, who doubled in two runs Monday in one pinch-hit at-bat, is hitting .263 with a .263 on-base percentage and a .342 slugging percentage. He has gone 4-for-20 in his last 10 games.
Descalso, MacLane lead Memphis
ST. LOUIS -- Daniel Descalso went deep twice for Triple-A Memphis on Monday, leading the Redbirds to an 11-0 thumping of Albuquerque. Evan MacLane pitched seven shutout innings with six hits, no walks and two strikeouts. ... Matt Carpenter stayed hot with three more hits, helping Double-A Springfield beat San Antonio, 4-2. Carpenter is hitting .382 in 19 games since being called up from Class A to Double-A. ... Class A Palm Beach was off on Monday. ... Scott Schneider pitched five innings of relief without allowing a hit or a run, getting the win as Class A Quad Cities came from behind to beat Burlington, 7-5. Niko Vasquez went 3-for-4 with a home run and a walk. Descalso edges out Schneider as the player of the day. He went 3-for-4 with two homers, a walk, four runs and four RBIs. On the year he's now at .275 for Memphis with a .353 on-base percentage and a .409 slugging percentage. The lefty-swinging second baseman has more walks (23) than strikeouts (17) this season. He was a third-round Draft pick out of Cal-Davis in 2007.
ST. LOUIS -- Entering Tuesday's game manager Tony La Russa had a 90-88 all-time record against Reds manager and longtime friend Dusty Baker. ... La Russa said that closer Ryan Franklin would pitch in Tuesday night's game regardless of the score. Franklin has not pitched since May 26. ... Catcher Jason LaRue made his seventh start on Tuesday, and he still has yet to catch Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright or Jaime Garcia. It's the second time in as many starts for P.J. Walters that LaRue is behind the plate for the rookie.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. Michael Bleach is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.