"He's just been and always has been a consistent presence in this lineup for a long time," manager Mike Matheny said before the game. "It's great to have him back.
"There's no question where he belongs in our lineup."
Rookie left-hander Nick Greenwood was optioned to Triple-A Memphis.
Matheny announced that rookie Tim Cooney would start Sunday in the series finale against the Mets, giving All-Stars Carlos Martinez and Michael Wacha more rest and setting up the duo for Tuesday and Wednesday in Chicago against the White Sox.
The Cardinals are monitoring the innings load for both pitchers.
Jaime Garcia, on the DL with a left groin strain, was scheduled to throw a side session Saturday and could rejoin the rotation in 10 days or so. General manager John Mozeliak said that if all goes well, Garcia would throw another side session Monday or Tuesday, then progress to batting practice later in the week and could be ready after that.
Mozeliak said rookie Marco Gonzales, sidelined early in the season by a shoulder issue, could be ready by the end of the month. So for now the Cardinals are not in the market to add a starter.
"I still think we have internal resources to handle the pitching, but we're not going to ignore the market or at least not remain opportunistic if something would come up that would make sense for us," Mozeliak said.
The 35-year-old Holliday was sidelined with a right quadriceps strain June 4. He was batting .303 with three homers and 26 RBIs in 52 games and was voted a starter on the National League All-Star team for the first time in his career but did not play due to the injury.
Holliday, a seven-time All-Star, reached base safely in an NL-record 45 consecutive games to begin the season.
The Cardinals were 18-13 while Holliday was out.
Greenwood appeared in one game and is 0-1, allowing two earned runs without recording an out.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.