ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals announcer Dan McLaughlin will be absent from Busch Stadium for the next two days on the heels of news leaking about an arrest Monday for operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, McLaughlin was pulled over Monday night on a suspicion of drunken driving at 10:45 p.m. CT and was arrested after refusing to take a breath test.

In a statement, FOX Sports Midwest announced that McLaughlin is taking time off for "personal reasons" and is expected back for the series opener in Pittsburgh on Monday.

Rick Horton will assume the play-by-play duties in McLaughlin's absence.

One day after trade, Feliz starts for Cards

ST. LOUIS -- Pedro Feliz, welcome to the pennant race.

The Cardinals' newly acquired third baseman was thrust into the thick action immediately Friday, manning the hot corner while batting fifth against the Giants.

Although Feliz was traded to help shore up defense, Cardinals manager Tony La Russa believes the right-handed hitter can provide more on offense than Feliz has shown this season. In 97 games with the Astros, Feliz was hitting .221 with a .243 on-base percentage, a .311 slugging percentage and 31 RBIs.

He got off to a good start in the Cardinals' 6-3 loss, going 2-for-4 with two runs scored.

Both player and manager are relying on some combination of changing scenery and the competitive juices of a playoff race reviving Feliz's offensive game.

"I know that I am not a .220 hitter," Feliz said.

"I haven't lost anything, I still have everything with me."

With Houston 16 1/2 games back in the National League Central and Feliz ceding playing time to youngster Chris Johnson, Feliz didn't hide his excitement of changing clubs.

"It is great," Feliz said of being back in a pennant race, "to get out of there and be on a great team."

Always a fan of veterans joining the clubhouse, La Russa welcomed the addition of Feliz to St. Louis. Outfielder Nick Stavinoha was optioned to Triple-A Memphis to make room on the roster for Feliz.

"He is an excellent defensive third baseman and he has played on pennant winners the last couple of years," La Russa said. "He has a real knack for giving you a good at-bat in a run scoring situation. He fits us very well."

Reliever Reyes to rest left elbow strain

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals will be without the services of Dennys Reyes for at least a few days as the veteran left-handed reliever rests an elbow strain. Reyes injured the elbow against the Cubs on Sunday. Reyes said he felt a twinge while throwing a slider but was able to finish the inning.

An MRI taken on Monday revealed a slight strain. Reyes played long toss Friday, but said he will need at least a few more days of rest before attempting a bullpen session.

"Hopefully, the doctor said, hopefully it will be a few days, but I don't know. It could be two, it could be three," Reyes said.

Reyes had 12 days of rest between his last two appearances, a factor the reliever said may have led to the strain. Reyes has posted a 4.30 ERA over his last 20 games.

Lopez inspired by visit to children's hospital

ST. LOUIS -- Instead of sleeping in and lounging around on his last off day in two weeks, Cardinals infielder Felipe Lopez visited the St. Louis Children's Hospital on Thursday, hanging out and chatting with patients for more than two hours.

Lopez said he visited children in six wards, and surprisingly, wasn't asked much about baseball. Instead, he just chatted with them as friends.

Inspiration can work both ways, and Lopez may have left the hospital receiving as much as he gave.

"It was awesome, man," Lopez said.

"I went to six different floors, they all had different stuff going on, but it was cool. It gave me a lot of inspiration. To see these kids hurting, and they can still put a smile on. We didn't even talk baseball. We just talked life. I was trying to be more of a friend then just a visitor."

Tidbits

Reliever Jason Motte is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Saturday. Motte has been on the disabled list since Aug. 2 with an AC joint sprain in his right shoulder. ... Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said he has not ruled Jon Jay out of leading off and may place the rookie at the top of the order on the road trip. Jay has a .399 on-base percentage this season. ... Courtesy of Cardinals media relations: Albert Pujols has the second-highest batting average against the Giants of all active players at .337. The Mets' David Wright has the highest with .338.