WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 16: Matt Holliday #7 of the St. Louis Cardinals hits a home run in the second inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on June 16, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

Matt Holliday Homers In Return To Lineup

Matt Holliday hit a home run in his first game back from a precautionary stretch on the 15-day disabled list.

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Matt Holliday Homers In Return To St. Louis Cardinals' Lineup

St. Louis Cardinals slugger Matt Holliday, on the disabled list for a quadriceps injury, returned to the lineup Thursday and paid immediate dividends for the Cardinals, homering in a loss to the Washington Nationals. The home run was Holliday’s seventh of the season, and improved his season-to-date line to .348/.443/.563. Holliday, usually a durable outfielder, has tantalized fantasy baseball owners this year with a combination of some of the best hitting of his career and two separate stretches of lost time; in April, after homering in his first game of the season, he missed a stretch of games after undergoing an emergency appendectomy.

He returns to a Cardinals squad that’s lost six games, in spite of Lance Berkman’s continued excellence and Albert Pujols’s slow reemergence as one of the game’s best hitters; the Cardinals would probably like to take his recovery slowly, but they’re unlikely to sit him until they get off the losing streak, preferably this weekend against the Kansas City Royals.

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Matt Holliday Due Back From Quad Injury Thursday In Washington

St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday, sent to the 15-day disabled list as part-roster-management, part-precautionary-measure after a quadriceps injury just wouldn't go away, is due back from the DL Thursday as the Cardinals look to avoid a sixth straight loss in their series finale against the Washington Nationals. He'll face left-hander John Lannan, if all goes according to plan. 

Holliday is off to a dominant, abbreviated start in 2011, hitting .342/.433/.542 with six home runs across 44 games; he was the National League batting champion until time missed due to his appendectomy and his quad injury pushed him off the eligible-players list. He's hitting .318/.399/.534 in 202 games since signing his seven year, $120 million contract with the Cardinals in the 2009 offseason. 

Cardinals reliever Eduardo Sanchez, out with a currently ill-defined and definitely worrying shoulder stiffness, could be the odd man out on the Cardinals' 25-man roster if they choose to keep rookie Andrew Brown in Allen Craig's spot. It would only be the latest affront in a Cardinals season marred by injuries to promising and established players alike. 

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