ST. LOUIS -- Eduardo Sanchez made his first appearance since May 19 on Saturday night and tossed two scoreless innings in the Cardinals' 4-0 loss to the Phillies.
"After the first hitter, it went well," he said.
Sanchez walked the first batter he faced in the seventh inning, Phillies pitcher Kyle Kendrick, and then retired the next six. He struck out Ty Wigginton with an 81-mph slider to open the eighth inning and finished the inning by throwing a 97-mph fastball past John Mayberry.
"[Saturday] was good," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "We got him in there for the first inning, and in the second inning we really saw him settle down a little more. You're going to see some of what we saw in the first inning, too. We just need him to get the consistency to where he's pounding the zone, because when he's in the zone, he's not comfortable to hit off of.
"He's got the best swing-and-miss stuff we have on our staff, there's no question about that. It's just a matter of him commanding the zone."
Sanchez said he was just focused on throwing strikes. Eight of his 17 pitches in the seventh inning were strikes, while eight of his 14 pitches went for strikes in the eighth inning.
"He had a good fastball today and his command was there," catcher Tony Cruz said following Saturday's game. "When his command is there, he's good."
Trio of injured Cardinals improving
ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals' walking wounded are making some progress.
Manager Mike Matheny said before Sunday's game that outfielder Jon Jay will head to Florida to continue his rehab work and outfielder/first baseman Allen Craig would likely travel with the club for its 10-game road trip.
"Allen's been doing most things with us already, so we're just probably going to stay on that," Matheny said. "With Jon, he needs to feel comfortable with what he needs to do."
Jay has been out with a sprained right shoulder that sent him to the disabled list on May 16.
"I want to get out there as soon as I can," Jay said. "But I'm trying to take the right steps first. I've hit in the cage three days now. The next step is to hit on the field, and that will be tomorrow."
Craig went on the DL with a left hamstring strain on May 17.
Infielder Matt Carpenter, who landed on the DL with a right oblique injury on May 23, is also making progress.
"I feel a lot better," Carpenter said. "I'm coming along pretty nicely, moving pretty well. Hopefully it won't be too much longer."
Carpenter hopes to be able to start hitting sometime next week.
"When I first did it, it literally felt like I was getting stabbed in the ribs," he said. "It's really gotten a lot better to the point now where the only thing that's bothering me is this one typical movement where if I thrust [a certain] way, I can feel it. But that sharp, stabbing feeling has gone away."
Greene improving at plate and in field
ST. LOUIS -- Tyler Greene got a day off on Sunday after starting the previous six games, and the Cardinals' middle infielder has shown progress recently.
"I think he's getting better at second base and doing a nice job," manager Mike Matheny said. "He made plays at shortstop yesterday. You look at a guy that was pushing .250 with some power and some speed and making things happen. That's a pretty good start for him. ... I think he's certainly shown glimpses of why we're continuing to try to get him the exposure that we can and get him out there."
In his last 10 games, Greene is hitting .324 (11-for-34) with one home run, three RBIs, three stolen bases and four runs scored. He's hitting .262 in May, with three homers, 11 RBIs, eight runs scored, a .328 on-base percentage and a .541 slugging percentage.
He's also improving in his transition to playing second base on a more regular basis, though he played shortstop on Saturday with Rafael Furcal getting the day off.
"He's got to first believe he can play a position that he hasn't played that much of, so that's not easy," Matheny said. "Then just feeling like he can compete at this level is another tough obstacle.
"... But he's had some struggles and a lot of people betting against him, but there are so many components that are good in there, that you figure that if he just kept his focus and his approach, he would get to where he needed to be."
Reliever Chuckie Fick was happy he could make his Major League debut on Saturday night in St. Louis and in front of family members who traveled to Busch Stadium for the game.
"It felt great," he said. "These are the best fans in the world. I've been a Cardinal for 25 years now because of my father. It was definitely nice to make my debut here."
Fick's father, Chuck, is a longtime scout for the Cardinals.
Shelby Miller allowed three runs on seven hits, including two homers, over 5 1/3 innings in Triple-A Memphis' 6-4 loss to Iowa on Saturday.
Nate Latsch is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.