Cardinals hit early to avoid shadows



ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals have started taking batting practice early to avoid late-afternoon shadows.

Manager Mike Matheny said Wednesday that players can get a better read on the ball and get comfortable with their swing if the visibility is better. So the team began its hitting drills more than three hours before playing the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Lance Berkman, on the 15-day disabled list with a pulled left calf, took batting practice for the first time since being injured. But Matheny said Berkman hasn’t begun running yet and is unlikely to be ready to come off the DL on time this weekend.