St. Louis Cardinals right-handed reliever Fernando Salas returned to the team Friday to start the second half of the regular season after a 56-day stint on the disabled list. The results of his first outing weren’t pretty but the Cardinals need Salas to pitch well possibly more than any pitcher in their bullpen.
Salas allowed a run on two hits and a walk in the eighth inning Friday in a 9-6 win over the San Diego Padres in his first appearance since he went on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation May 22 after the Cardinals finished a three-game series against the Padres in San Diego.
Up to that point, Salas had plenty of less-than-stellar performances. He took a 3.86 earned-run average to the disabled list with him, and that was his lowest ERA of the season. He allowed runs in three of his first four outings but then settled down to become positive part of the bullpen.
He needs to pitch to that form to help the Cardinals in the second half of the season, but he could...