Matt Holliday is coming back.After undergoing an appendectomy on April 1, Holliday is in the lineup Sunday, when the Cardinals and Giants conclude a three-game set at AT&T Park. St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said prior to Saturday's game that he thought Holliday's chances to return would be 50-50, but that was before Holliday worked out. The typical recovery time from an appendectomy for a baseball player is two to four weeks, but the Cardinals didn't place him on the disabled list, optimistic the left fielder would return sooner. He last played on March 31, homering in the Cardinals' loss to the Padres, just nine days ago. Facing Holliday and the Cardinals on the mound will be Giants left-hander Barry Zito, who will oppose Cardinals righty Kyle Lohse. Zito is coming off one of his most admirable starts as a Giant on April 3 against the Dodgers when, four days after being in an automobile accident, he allowed three runs (all in the first inning) on three hits in six innings. Zito, who couldn't take part in his usual between-starts routine, retired 15 consecutive batters in the final five innings. "Considering the severity of the deal, I felt pretty good," Zito said afterward. Lohse is coming off an outing in which he allowed four runs on six hits in seven innings against Pittsburgh. He is 2-2 with a 4.62 ERA in four career starts against San Francisco. Cardinals: Offense needs spark
Holliday's return is a much-needed boost to the Cardinals' struggling offense, which entered Sunday tied with Minnesota for the second-fewest runs scored (21) behind only Tampa Bay (19). As a team, the Cardinals are hitting .216 (58-for-268), and Albert Pujols also has struggled, hitting .167 (5-for-30). Despite his slow start, Pujols isn't concerned. "That's why 162 games," Pujols said prior to Saturday's game. "So I don't care about seven games. We still have 155. At the end of the year, that's when you worry about it. Not seven games into the season." An upcoming biography of Cardinals Hall of Famer Stan Musial reveals that Musial has Alzheimer's disease, according to a report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The newspaper reported Friday that in the book "Stan Musial: An American Life," author George Vecsey writes that Musial was diagnosed with the disease "in his mid-eighties." Musial turned 90 last November. The Oakland Tribune also reported this week that Musial's daughter, Gerry Musial Ashley, confirmed the information contained in the book. Giants: Torres exits early
Center fielder Andres Torres left Saturday's game in the fourth inning with a mild left Achilles strain, walking off the field under his own power. The injury appeared to occur as he chased a line drive to left-center field hit by St. Louis' Lance Berkman. Torres made the catch for the inning's first out, but departed after Colby Rasmus popped up to shallow center field, a play made by shortstop Miguel Tejada. On Friday, Tejada became the first Giant since Edgardo Alfonzo in 2003 to homer in his first at-bat in a home opener. In all, seven players have accomplished the feat: Orlando Cepeda (1958), Jim Ray Hart (1964), Brett Butler (1988), Glenallen Hill (2002), Reggie Sanders (2003), Alfonzo and Tejada.
Dating back to 2007, the Giants have won 10 of their last 14 games against the Cardinals at AT&T Park. St. Louis is 14-21 all time at AT&T Park. ... If historical numbers are any indication, the Giants on Sunday could field a similar lineup as Saturday's. Mark DeRosa (8-for-19), Aaron Rowand (11-for-37), Tejada (11-for-38) and Pat Burrell (4-for-14) all have hit two homers in their careers against Lohse.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.