St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter exited the game Wednesday night (Thursday in Manila) against Pittsburgh after suffering a strained right oblique when he tried to check a swing in the third inning.
The Cardinals, who lost 7-5, announced Carpenter had left the stadium to undergo tests. Carpenter was in the midst of an MRI when Cardinals manager Mike Matheny met the media after the game and the severity of his injury was not yet known.
Carpenter, batting .298 with 14 home runs and 53 RBIs, tried to check his swing on a 3-1 pitch from Pirates left-hander Jeff Locke.
Carpenter immediately grabbed his side and left the game after briefly talking to Matheny and trainer Adam Olsen.
“I knew what he grabbed and where he was feeling it. We just had to get him off the field,” Matheny said of Carpenter, who also had an oblique injury in 2012. “I’ve got a high level of concern. I’ve felt that injury, I’ve seen it. It can be tough, but we’re not going to make any conclusions until we hear from the people who know what they’re talking about.”
The Cardinals will most likely make a roster move Thursday morning.
“We’ve got to go in there and figure it out,” Matheny said. “It depends, once again, on what we hear.”
Carpenter on Tuesday was named to the National League All-Star team as a reserve. No other Cardinal was selected to the team.
Kolten Wong replaced Carpenter and popped out to second on the 3-2 pitch. Wong stayed in the game to play second base.
Wong said he’s had an oblique injury before and it’s something to be taken seriously.
“I’ve had a few oblique injuries,” Wong said. “It’s not fun. It’s one of those injuries where, literally, all you can do is rest. We hope that’s not the severity Carp is in. You pray and you hope everything turns out all right.”
Carpenter struck out in the first inning. He tops all major-league leadoff hitters in OPS at .991.
“You see what the guy does out there every single day. He performs,” Wong said. “He does what he needs to do. He’s a professional. You can count on him to come up in big situations and do a job. It’s tough to lose someone of his stature.”
St. Louis already has six players on the disabled list: catcher Brayan Pena, first baseman/outfielder Brandon Moss and pitchers Kevin Siegrist, Lance Lynn, Jordan Walden and Mitch Harris. Pena (Wednesday), Moss (Tuesday) and Siegrist (Thursday) have been disabled in the six days.
“I know we’ve got guys who can jump in and do it,” Matheny said. “The test is the fact that we’re just not playing the kind of baseball we want to play. That’s it. We’re going to have guys go down. You never want to see it happen. You want to get them back as quick as you can. But when it happens, somebody else has to step up. Right now, we’re just fighting to get a good feel.”