Matt Holliday pulled from game with tightness in left quad

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It’s funny, right, that two of St. Louis’ three starting outfielders are now being bothered by injuries and not one of them bears the name Lance Berkman?

B.J. Rains of FOX Sports Midwest passes along notice that Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday had to be lifted after the second inning of Wednesday evening’s game against the Astros due to tightness in his left quadriceps muscle.

Holliday appeared to tweak a leg muscle while trailing back on an Angel Sanchez fly ball to left field in the first inning. Holliday made the catch, but he had to travel a long way in a short period of time and may have strained something. Mark Hamilton took over out in left field and at cleanup one inning later.

Cardinals center fielder Colby Rasmus is also being bothered by an injury, thought to be an ab strain.

UPDATE: Forget the health praise for Berkman. He exited in the fifth inning after making a diving catch and coming up with a sore wrist, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. It might have been a precautionary move because the Cards have a big lead on the Astros.

Mariners claim Kaleb Cowart off waivers from Angels

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The Mariners announced that the club claimed Kaleb Cowart off waivers from the Angels. Interestingly, the Mariners list Cowart as both an outfielder and a right-handed pitcher. Cowart has never pitched professionally, but the Mariners will try him as a two-way player next season, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports. Cowart was a highly regarded pitcher in high school.

Cowart, 26, has played all over the field, spending most of his time at third base and second base, but also logging a handful of innings at first base, shortstop, and left field.  He hasn’t hit much at all, owning a career .177/.241/.293 triple-slash line across 380 plate appearances in the big leagues. It makes sense to try another angle.

Shohei Ohtani, of course, is helping to popularize the rebirth of the two-way player. In his first year in the majors after having played in Japan for five years, Ohtani won the AL Rookie of the Year Award by posting a .925 OPS in 367 plate appearances along with a 3.31 ERA over 10 starts. Don’t expect Cowart to hit those lofty numbers, but additional versatility could prolong his life in the majors.