HOU@STL: Jackson singles to tally first career hit

CINCINNATI -- Ryan Jackson's road back to the big leagues was a bit more difficult than that of the average player.   

Jackson, who opened the season with St. Louis before being optioned to Triple-A Memphis when third baseman David Freese was activated from the 15-day disabled list April 8, was one of six players added by the Cardinals to their roster on Tuesday. While all of them were happy to be joining the Major League team, Jackson might've been a little happier because of the obstacles he had to overcome.

After hitting .300 before the International League All-Star break, including a torrid .345 in July, the right-handed hitter managed just a .221 average in the second half. It didn't help that he lost about six or seven pounds in mid-August after dealing with a bout of food poisoning.

"I'd rather get hit by a pitch," Jackson said while talking with the media in the visitors' clubhouse at Great American Ball Park before Tuesday night's game against the Reds.

He should know. He took a fastball on the outside of his left knee in the second-to-last game of Memphis' regular season Sunday.

"It caught me pretty flush," he said. "It feels pretty good. I'll be out there, ready to go."

Manager Mike Matheny indicated Jackson would be added to the mix at shortstop, especially when the Cardinals are facing left-handed pitchers.

"We're a team trying to figure out left-handed pitching," Matheny said.

Lower back feeling better, Beltran rejoins lineup

STL@PIT: Beltran plates Wong on run-scoring single

CINCINNATI -- Carlos Beltran was as good as his word.

He said after Monday's 7-2 loss to the Reds in the opener of the Cardinals' four-game series that he would be in the lineup Tuesday. Sure enough, Tuesday's lineup had him batting second and playing right field after injuring his lower back on a swing against Pittsburgh's A.J. Burnett on Saturday.

"Today, it feels good to go," Beltran said before the game. "I took some great swings in the [batting] cage -- real high intensity. Right now, it feels good, so I'm in the lineup."

Beltran, who went into Tuesday's game leading St. Louis with 23 home runs and ranking eighth in the league with a .310 batting average, missed the series finale in Pittsburgh on Sunday and Monday's game.

"As a player, you don't want to miss any games," he said, "but if you can't swing the bat, you can't be in the lineup."

Perez receives surprise callup from Memphis

CINCINNATI -- As expected, the Cardinals added right-handers Michael Wacha, Tuesday's starter, and Carlos Martinez to the roster, along with left-hander Tyler Lyons. All three were recalled from Double-A Springfield before Tuesday's game.

Besides Ryan Jackson, St. Louis also recalled first baseman-outfielder Brock Peterson from Triple-A Memphis, but the Cardinals also unexpectedly purchased the contract of catcher Audry Perez from Memphis. Perez's first appearance will be his Major League debut.

Perez learned of the move Monday, he said through interpreter Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com.

"I was really surprised," he said after arriving at the ballpark about 3:15 p.m. CT. "I wasn't expecting it. This is a great day."

The annual September roster expansion allows teams to add players such as Perez for emergency situations similar to what almost cropped up Monday when catcher Yadier Molina left the game in the fifth inning with soreness in his left wrist. With backup catcher Tony Cruz just coming off the disabled list Monday, manager Mike Matheny knew another catcher couldn't hurt.

"If something comes up that doesn't smell right, we wanted to make sure we were covered," Matheny said.

Molina was back in the starting lineup for Tuesday's game.

Martinez, optioned to Springfield on Aug. 28, had a pleasant surprise waiting for him. The Cardinals had kept the game ball from his first Major League game, against the Reds on Aug. 26, and presented it to him upon arrival. He told Sanchez that he would be sending it to his parents in the Dominican Republic.

Eligible to return Friday, Westbrook throws in 'pen

STL@CIN: Westbrook reaches down to field grounder

CINCINNATI -- Cardinals right-hander Jake Westbrook, who's been on the disabled list with a lower back strain, threw in the bullpen before Tuesday's game.

St. Louis manager Mike Matheny hadn't gotten an opportunity to learn how it went by the time he met with the media.

Westbrook was 7-8 with a 4.49 ERA in 18 starts and one relief appearance before going on the disabled list on Aug. 22. He is eligible to be activated Friday.