Some time off and a cortisone shot have apparently done St. Louis’ Larry Walker a lot of good.
Still recovering from a herniated disc in his neck, Walker hopes to build on a two-homer effort in his return to the lineup as the St. Louis Cardinals begin a four-game series with his former team, the visiting Colorado Rockies.
Walker, a former NL MVP and three-time batting champion with Colorado, homered twice in the Cardinals’ 11-3 win over Cincinnati on Wednesday, two days after getting a cortisone shot in his ailing neck.
Walker had missed the previous five starts with the injury, which has bothered him much of the year. He had the 30th multihomer game of his career and second this season, with both homers coming off Ramon Ortiz.
The 38-year-old outfielder, who played for the Rockies from 1995-2004, has nine homers and 33 RBIs this season.
“It was just good to be back in the lineup after sitting and watching a lot of the games,” Walker said. “I was happy to be out there and was just fortunate to be able to contribute.”
At 49-28, the Cardinals are 21 games above .500 for the second time this season.
“It was very frustrating and boring sitting on the bench watching,” Walker said. “The bright side, which I always try to look for, is this is a pretty amazing team.”
Matt Morris worked seven sharp innings Wednesday, rebounding from his only loss of the year after an 8-0 start, to help the Cardinals win for the fourth time in five games. The NL Central leaders also got homers from Reggie Sanders and Jim Edmonds.
The NL-worst Rockies have dropped three of four since a three-game winning streak, including Wednesday’s 7-1 defeat to Houston.