ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday returned to the lineup in a 2-1 win on Saturday, singling in the ninth inning to open the door for the club's late rally.

Holliday, who finished Saturday 1-for-4, missed the previous nine games with an inflamed tendon on the middle finger of his right hand. The Cardinals were 6-3 in his absence.

Manager Tony La Russa said Holliday was available to pinch-hit during a 5-1 loss on Friday, but the opportunity did not arise. Holliday would have hit for Ryan Theriot in the eighth inning, but Allen Craig hit into an inning-ending double play with Theriot on deck.

Holliday said he was, "ready to go," after a successful batting practice session before Friday's contest.

A four-time National League All-Star, Holliday injured the finger while swinging in the on-deck circle in Pittsburgh.

Lohse would start one-game playoff for Cards

ST. LOUIS -- St. Louis manager Tony La Russa would like to see right-hander Kyle Lohse start one more game after his outing on Saturday.

La Russa, in his 16th season with the Cardinals, has penciled in Lohse as the starter should there be a one-game playoff with Atlanta for the National League Wild Card spot.

"Let's hope he pitches," La Russa said. "He's had a heck of a year."

Lohse allowed a run in the first inning Saturday, but he responded with six shutout innings as the Cards rallied for a 2-1 win, leaving them two games behind the Braves in the Wild Card chase.

The Cardinals hold the tiebreaker with the Braves by virtue of their 5-1 head-to-head record.

Jackson interested in returning to Cardinals

ST. LOUIS -- Right-hander Edwin Jackson realizes that Sunday's start against the Chicago Cubs could be his last in a Cardinals uniform.

And he wants to make the most of it.

"Being in a race and having something to pitch for the last week of the season -- that's what it's all about," he said. "We need wins and I'm going to work hard to try and get one."

Jackson (12-9) was acquired from the White Sox via Toronto on July 27. He is 3-0 in seven starts at Busch Stadium this season and 5-2 overall with the Cardinals. His workman-like approach to the game has made him a favorite among the fans.

The 28-year-old is an impending free agent and would like to stay in St. Louis. Yet he realizes that there might not be a spot for him in the starting rotation next season, assuming Adam Wainwright returns healthy.

"Definitely, I'm having fun," he said. "This is a place I wouldn't mind coming back to. But right now, my focus is on finishing out the season.

After the season, we'll see what happens."

Jackson, who resides in Atlanta, is 60-60 in his six-year career including a 30-30 mark at home and on the road. The 12 wins are his most since he won 13 in Detroit in 2009. His career high is 14 with Tampa Bay in 2008.

The much-traveled Jackson is with his seventh team. But no matter where he ends up next season, he says he will always remember his time in St. Louis.

"The fans are great," he said. "Even as a visitor coming in here, you could tell they were special. They make you feel good playing here."

La Russa: Molina deserves Silver Slugger

ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said that catcher Yadier Molina should be given strong consideration for the Silver Slugger award.

Molina is having an impressive year offensively. He was hitless in three at-bats during a 2-1 win on Saturday but finished the day hitting .303. Molina finished the day with career highs in home runs (13) and RBIs (63). He led all National League catchers with 11 three-hit games.

La Russa pointed out that sometimes Molina's defensive abilities overshadow his hitting skills.

Molina has won the Gold Glove Award each of the past three seasons.

"I'm not sure enough people are paying attention," La Russa said.

Atlanta catcher Brian McCann and Arizona catcher Miguel Montero are among the other leading candidates for the NL Silver Slugger.