Pujols gets treatment on hamstring

CHICAGO -- Albert Pujols might be available to pinch hit after getting treatment on his sore left hamstring Monday, but St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said he would try to avoid using his first baseman.

"Is there a situation where he could pinch hit, depending on how he
feels? The answer is probably yes," La Russa said. "Are we going to try and avoid using him? Absolutely.

The Cardinals are in Chicago for a four-game series with the Cubs.

John Mabry started at first in Pujols' place. Mabry was batting
.333 with five RBIs in 36 at-bats in his third stint with the Cardinals.

Pujols hurt his hamstring Sunday while running the bases in the sixth inning. Though initial reports were that the NL batting
champion would have an MRI on Monday, he didn't have the test.

"He did not feel like it was a tear -- so that's a good sign,"
La Russa said. "He may be out two weeks, but a tear is six weeks,
two months. We don't think it's that bad, hopefully.

Pujols has had at least four hits in three of his last nine
games, batting .559 during that stretch (19-for-34) with five
homers and 11 RBIs. Overall he was tied for the major league lead
with 17 homers and was batting .325 with 40 RBIs after a slow

Pujols has started all of the Cardinals' 56 games and has never
been on the disabled list in his four-year career. He averaged 158
games his first three seasons.