LOS ANGELES -- For Ryan Theriot, Thursday's game marked his first visit to Dodger Stadium since being traded to the Cardinals in November.

While Theriot said it was great to be back, he was most excited to see his former teammates.

"It is cool to see the guys," Theriot said. "I'm going to say hello to Donnie [Mattingly] for sure, James [Loney], a couple of the other guys."

In 54 games with the Dodgers last season, after he was traded from the Cubs with Ted Lilly, Theriot played second base, batting .242 with eight RBIs and one home run.

While Theriot no longer plays with the Dodgers, he said playing at Dodger Stadium is always an amazing experience.

"I love being back here," the shortstop said. "It is a great stadium to play in from a surface standpoint. The grass and dirt is second to none. No better surface for infielders to play on."

The Dodgers traded Theriot to the Cardinals back on Nov. 30 for relief pitcher Blake Hawksworth. In his first 11 games with St. Louis this season, Theriot batted.304 with four RBIs, two doubles and two stolen bases.

Sanchez thrilled with Major League debut

LOS ANGELES -- A day after his first Major League appearance, Eduardo Sanchez was still on cloud nine.

"It was exciting," the Cardinals reliever said before Thursday's series opener against the Dodgers. "I was just trying to concentrate and throw strikes."

Pitching the final two innings in the Cardinals' 15-5 victory over the D-backs, the righty gave up only one hit and struck out five of the seven batters he faced.

Sanchez said his approach was just to throw fastballs and be aggressive.

"It wasn't quite the test it appeared with the score of the game, but I thought he was impressive," said Cardinals manager Tony La Russa.

St. Louis called up Sanchez, along with Fernando Salas, before Wednesday's game, after Bryan Augenstein (groin) and Brian Tallet (hand) were placed on the 15-day disabled list.

Before his debut, Sanchez had a 1-0 record with Triple-A Memphis in three innings pitched, with three strikeouts.