Hot-hitting Allen Craig headed for DL with hamstring injury

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Allen Craig can’t catch a break.

He missed the first six weeks of the season following November knee surgery, returned to the lineup on fire by hitting .404 with a 1.284 OPS in 12 games … and is now headed back to the disabled list.

Craig strained his hamstring during Wednesday’s game and Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that he’ll be placed on the shelf before tonight’s matchup with the Dodgers, which along with Jon Jay being on the DL with a shoulder injury and Carlos Beltran missing the past four games with a knee injury leaves the Cardinals’ outfield very thin.

Last night first baseman/third baseman Matt Carpenter started in the outfield for just the second time in his entire professional career, majors or minors, and manager Mike Matheny went with 27-year-old career minor leaguer Shane Robinson in center field.

Brandon Belt, Jaime Barrios set new modern record with 21-pitch at-bat

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Angels starter Jaime Barrios and Giants first baseman Brandon Belt set a new modern record with a 21-pitch at-bat in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Anaheim. Belt fell behind 1-2 and mostly kept fouling pitches off. The count ran full on the ninth pitch and Belt would foul off 11 more pitches before finally lining out to right field.

As Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle notes, the previous record was set on June 26, 1998 when the Indians’ Bartolo Colon and the Astros’ Ricky Gutierrez battled for 20 pitches. Gutierrez eventually struck out.