ST. LOUIS -- Albert Pujols didn't want to leave a young fan with a sour taste in his mouth on Sunday night, so he did the best he could -- and it seemed to help.
When Pujols hit a solo home run in the sixth inning on Sunday, the ball struck a school-aged boy in the stands in his chest. Television cameras caught the youngster crying in pain, and Pujols happened to see the shots when he came into the clubhouse between innings. So he sent the young man an autographed bat.
"I was watching my video, and I saw him crying," Pujols said. "I felt that that's not the way you want a kid to remember, getting hit by the ball. So I tried to send a bat over. It wasn't to try to get attention or anything. ... I think if it would have hit an adult, it wouldn't have hurt as much, but when you hurt a little boy like that, that's an experience you don't want that kid to have."
Stadium representatives did not catch the fan's name. But television shots later in the evening seemed to show that his spirits had brightened quite a bit after receiving the bat.
Rasmus day-to-day with left calf tightness
ST. LOUIS -- Colby Rasmus was removed from the Cardinals' game against the Brewers on Sunday night as a result of tightness in his left calf. He began feeling discomfort in the area before the game even started, and when it intensified in the sixth, he was pulled.
Rasmus drew a two-out walk in the bottom of the sixth, then was forced at second base on David Freese's grounder to short. When the seventh inning began, new acquisition Randy Winn took his place in center field and the No. 7 spot in the Cardinals' batting order. It was the first appearance in the field for Winn since he signed with St. Louis on Saturday.
Rasmus said he believes the discomfort stems from a slide into home plate in the third inning on Friday, when he scored on a ground ball hit by Felipe Lopez.
"The other day, I ran into that catcher on that play at home plate, when I was safe, with my shin," he said. "And my ankle kind of started hurting a little bit. So I think that shifted my legs around a little bit to where it started putting pressure on my calf that wasn't there before. But I think it's day-to-day."
Rasmus' status for Monday's game in Los Angeles remains uncertain.
"We'll see, come in tomorrow and see where I'm at," he said. "If [I'm] not [ready], give it another day."
Winn later drove home the tying run with a sacrifice fly in the eighth.
Rasmus, 23, is off to an excellent start to the season and has been torrid lately. He hit his 10th home run earlier on Sunday night and is batting .293 with a .405 on-base percentage and a .569 slugging percentage. He has three homers in 18 June at-bats.
Freese held out of Sunday's lineup
ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals third baseman David Freese missed Sunday's start against the Brewers to rest a sprained right ankle, but the rookie was available to pinch-hit.
Felipe Lopez moved to third base for the game, Brendan Ryan started at shortstop and recent acquisition Aaron Miles made his first start of the season at second base.
Freese twisted the ankle in the sixth inning of Saturday's 5-4 victory over the Brewers after stepping awkwardly on third base.
"Freese is sore, you know, we are not going to have to disable him," manager Tony La Russa said. "We are going to keep him out, get completely healed."
With Freese normally occupying a spot in the middle of the order, normal two-hole hitter Ryan Ludwick hit fifth Sunday and Ryan hit in front of Albert Pujols.
Cardinals yet to name Monday's starter
ST. LOUIS -- Manager Tony La Russa has confirmed that Chris Carpenter will start this Tuesday against the Dodgers and Adam Wainwright will start Wednesday in the series finale.
As for the series opener Monday? Well, that is still a mystery, even to the two pitchers -- P.J. Walters and Blake Hawksworth -- being considered for the role.
"I mean, an honest answer, is we aren't through with the homestand," La Russa said. "It is real easy to concentrate on what you are doing right now. I'm not thinking about the road trip and that is a good message to send to your team. The road trip will take care of itself."
Both Walters and Hawksworth were considered available to pitch out of the bullpen Sunday. If neither of them does, La Russa said he would make the decision on the plane to Los Angeles.
Walters pitched well in his first start of the season, shutting out the Padres through five innings. The rookie unraveled in his next start, however, allowing seven runs and eight hits in four innings.
Hawksworth has yet to start a game in the Majors.
Evan MacLane suffered a rough day on the mound Saturday, giving up eight runs and 11 hits in a 9-3 loss for Triple-A Memphis. Tyler Greene managed to hit safely for the 15th game in a row and is batting .379 over that streak. Allen Craig went 2-for-4 with a double. ... It was also a tough day for the Double-A Springfield Cardinals, who lost, 4-0, at San Antonio. Matt Carpenter collected three hits on the day, but the team was held without an extra-base knock in the shutout. Daryl Jones went 1-for-3 and extended his hitting streak to 13 games. ... Jared Bogany starred for Class A Palm Beach, going 3-for-4 on the day and blasting a two-run homer in the fifth inning. Arquimedes Nieto earned the win and the start, going six innings and giving up two runs. ... Class A Quad Cities improved its record to 34-22 in a rain-shortened contest that was called for good in the sixth inning. Starting pitcher Scott Schneider picked up the win, allowing two runs over 5 2/3 innings.
With Chris Carpenter assigned to start Tuesday, the veteran pitcher will be on five days' rest instead of the normal four. Carpenter owns a career 3.72 ERA and 1.230 WHIP when he takes four days between starts, but the numbers rise to a 3.94 ERA and a 1.342 WHIP with an extra day. ... If St. Louis wins Sunday, it will mark the first three-game sweep of the season for the Redbirds. The Cardinals won both games of a two-game series against the Nationals in the middle of May and swept a four-games series with the Braves in late April. ... Sunday's starting pitcher Jaime Garcia has proven to have a quality not normally associated with rookie pitchers: consistency. Garcia has thrown between six and seven innings in every start but one this year.
Matthew Leach is a reporter and Michael Bleach is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.