Brown gets start with Berkman resting in finale

ST. LOUIS -- Andrew Brown made his first start at Busch Stadium on Sunday, allowing Cardinals manager Tony La Russa to give slugger Lance Berkman a day off.

Brown started for Berkman in right field and batted sixth. He made his Major League debut in Milwaukee on June 12 and had an RBI single in his first start against Washington on June 14. Brown had success against Royals starter Danny Duffy in the Minors, and La Russa noted the rookie's sharp memory of Duffy's stuff as a major factor in Brown getting the start.

Brown came through in the first inning with the bases loaded, driving in two runs with a single to left field.

"He's got a great stroke and a hitter's mentality," La Russa said before the game. "He's a very intelligent hitter, he's got a good idea of what it's all about. I would say he's got a good big league future."

Brown said it was a special thing for him to make his first home start on Father's Day and admitted it was a great gift to his dad, who called to congratulate his son Sunday morning.

"It's a big honor to play on Father's Day in my first year in the big leagues," Brown said.

La Russa said Sunday was a good day to give Berkman a break because of the early start and a scheduled off-day on Monday. The manager said Berkman was available to pinch-hit on Sunday and expects his slugger back in the starting lineup Tuesday in the series opener against Philadelphia.

"He needs one, he's got some areas that are barking," La Russa said. "He'll be ready to go Tuesday."

Berkman began Sunday hitting .309 and leads the Cards with 17 homers, 51 RBIs and a .423 on-base percentage.

Cards honor local father of 10

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals honored Bill Schwentker on Sunday, as part of Major League Baseball's inaugural, "My Dad, My MVP" contest.

Schwentker, a father of 10, helped his children cope with the loss of their brother and, more recently, his wife of 53 years.

More than 3,200 stories were submitted to leading up to Father's Day.

"He has always given us that vote of confidence we needed to get through the day," Schwentker's family wrote in their submission.

Schwentker took part in pregame activities and was recognized during an on-field ceremony.

One winner for each of the 30 MLB clubs was selected by a celebrity panel of judges and nearly 270,000 fan votes on The "My Dad, My MVP" contest gives fans a special opportunity to celebrate the father figures in their lives.

"As a supporter of the Prostate Cancer Foundation and their Home Run Challenge program, I am extremely grateful for the valuable partnerships and relationships built with Major League Baseball and our affiliates," Joe Torre, MLB executive vice president of baseball operations told "With the addition of the 'My Dad, My MVP' campaign, prostate cancer is gaining more exposure and awareness which will help save the lives of more men. Traveling and raising awareness about this important cause with the Prostate Cancer Foundation is a very rewarding opportunity."

The list of celebrity judges included Torre; country music stars Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry of the country duo Montgomery Gentry; Prostate Cancer Foundation founder Michael Milken; MLB players including Jason Bay of the Mets, Derrek Lee of the Orioles, David Ortiz of the Red Sox, Jake Peavy and A.J. Pierzynski of the White Sox, Carlos Pena of the Cubs, Kurt Suzuki of the A's and Brian Wilson of the Giants; and MLB Network Analyst Billy Ripken.

Baby 'birds

• Triple-A Memphis enjoyed a walk-off win for the second game in as many nights Saturday, beating Nashville, 6-4, on Donovan Solano's RBI double in the bottom of the 10th.

• Charlie Cutler's two-run triple broke things open for Double-A Springfield as the Cardinals used a three-run sixth inning to down Northwest Arkansas, 3-1, on Saturday. Culter scored a run and also singled and walked.

• Class A Palm Beach was well represented in the Florida State League All-Star Game on Saturday, with Edgar Lara going 1-for-2 with a run scored and Joe Kelly making a relief appearance.

• Class A Quad Cities clinched a spot in the Midwest League Playoffs thanks to a six-run third inning as the River Bandits beat Peoria, 6-1, on Saturday. Boone Whiting pitched seven innings of four-hit ball and both Ronny Gil and Nick Longmire drove in a pair.

• Short-season Class A Batavia won its first game of the season, outlasting Auburn, 9-6, on Saturday. Nick Martini and Jeremy Patton had three hits apiece, with Patton driving in two runs.

Worth noting

• Hall of Fame basketball coach Bob Knight stopped by manager Tony La Russa's office on Sunday. Knight, who has won more Division I games than any other coach, is in town for La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation charity golf tournament on Monday.

• The Cardinals wore powder blue wristbands and uniform decals on Sunday to raise awareness for prostate cancer.