3B Matt Carpenter returns to Cardinals' lineup

CLEVELAND (AP) St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter returned to the lineup Tuesday night after missing a weekend series in Pittsburgh because of fatigue.

''I'm feeling much better,'' said Carpenter, who was set to bat second at Cleveland.

''My body feels good and I'm glad to be back here. You hate missing games, but you got to do what you're told and listen to your body,'' he said.

Carpenter remained in St. Louis for the games against the Pirates because he'd been feeling lightheaded and dizzy.

''Fatigue is the best way to describe it,'' Carpenter said. ''I know it doesn't sound like anything, but it was. I wasn't right.''

''My body wasn't working on all cylinders. I just did not feel good,'' he said. ''The medical staff decided and thought it was a good idea to take this time off. At the time I didn't agree with it, but now I think it was much needed.''

An All-Star last year, he is batting .333 with five homers and 20 RBIs in 27 games for the team with the best record in the majors.

Carpenter is known for his all-out style of play, and said he brings a football mentality to baseball.

''Obviously, I think it was self-inflicted,'' he said. ''I push myself really hard. I always do. For whatever reason it got the best of me last week. It happened, learn from it, monitor yourself and understand you have a wall if you don't take care of yourself and watch yourself.''

Carpenter watched the games in Pittsburgh on television.

''It's hard to not watch the game, as much as love this group of guys, this team,'' he said. ''I want to be out there every day. Outside of the three-hour stretch of games, I rested a lot. It was much needed.''

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny is pleased about Carpenter's return and didn't consider using him at designated hitter, which was an option in an American League ballpark.

''We like having all our guys back and there's no doubt what Carp means to this club in so many different ways,'' Matheny said.

''We put a lot of trust in our medical staff and there are times they have made some suggestions outside the box. It comes down to what is best for our guys and trust the fact that they know what they are doing and stand behind them. We've been in contact the last couple days. Everything is good,'' he said.

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