Lance Berkman out with sore shoulder

ST. LOUIS -- St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Lance Berkman received a cortisone shot in his right shoulder Wednesday after an MRI exam revealed a strain.

The All-Star slugger hopes to be back in the lineup Friday.

"It feels good," Berkman said before sitting out Wednesday night's game against the Houston Astros. "It's sore right now because I got an injection. It'll be a couple of days."

Skip Schumaker started in right field for St. Louis, replacing Berkman. Nick Punto took over at second base for Schumaker.

Berkman hurt his shoulder Sunday in the ninth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He singled to left field and said when he got to first base, he felt a mild strain in his right rotator cuff.

The NL leader in home runs with 27, Berkman did not play Monday for the first time since June 5, a span of 40 games. He left Tuesday's game hitless after four innings when his right shoulder began to bother him again, so the 35-year-old switch-hitter decided to get an MRI.

"I didn't get the MRI to diagnose the problem," Berkman said. "It was more to pinpoint where to get the injection if that was going to be a good way to treat it."

Berkman said he's not worried about the shoulder.

"Heck, I was never that concerned about it. I knew it was just a strain," he said. "That's what it felt like. It didn't feel like anything major. Hopefully, like with the wrist, I got a shot and that knocked it out. I haven't had a problem with it since.

"Hopefully, this will be just like that. This shot wasn't near as painful as the one in the wrist," he said.

Left fielder Matt Holliday returned to the lineup after missing Tuesday's game with a stomach virus. Jon Jay was in center.