The two middle infielders may be back for the start of the set at Busch Stadium. Giles has been sidelined with swelling on his left arm after being hit by a David Wells fastball last Wednesday. Furcal has missed eight games with a jammed right finger.
“I don’t know if it will be Tuesday,” Furcal said. “But I know it will be some time this week.”
Giles has a team-best .337 batting average with three home runs and 17 RBIs this season. Furcal, who has batted at least .275 in each of the last three years, is hitting .262 with five RBIs and four stolen bases this year.
The Braves were forced to use their 26th different lineup—in 30 games—in a 2-1 loss to the Houston Astros on Sunday.
“We’re not very deep,” said outfielder Chipper Jones, who returned Saturday after missing nearly three weeks with a strained right hamstring. “If we don’t go through the season somewhat healthy, we’re going to struggle. That’s been the case the first month.”
Without their middle infielders, the Braves have struggled, dropping four of their last five games. Atlanta has lost five of its last six series. The Braves finished a six-game homestand 2-4 after losing eight of 12 on their longest road trip this season.
The Braves, two games under .500 as they bid for a 13th straight division title, could use the help. Chipper Jones is 0-for-6 with four strikeouts since coming off the disabled list. Center fielder Andruw Jones, battling a sore left quadriceps muscle, is mired in a 2-for-26 slump.
The Cardinals return home exactly where they left off after going 3-3 on the road to remain at .500. They avoided their first series sweep of the season with a 5-2 victory over the Montreal Expos on Sunday. Albert Pujols hit a two-run homer—his ninth of the season—and Jim Edmonds had a three-run shot as St. Louis rebounded from a 2-0 shutout on Saturday.
“That’s what you need after tough losses to get things going,” Pujols said.
St. Louis has 46 home runs—second-best in the league—and has scored 75 of its 160 runs by homers.