CINCINNATI -- Ryan Franklin is having a fine year. You just might not know it by his save total.
Franklin recorded his first save in 2 1/2 weeks on Friday, tiptoeing through a treacherous ninth inning to preserve a 4-3 Cardinals win. It was Franklin's eighth save of the year. Ironically, his first save since April also featured his first run allowed since April 16.
The Cardinals have worked hard in recent years to make sure that Franklin isn't overworked in the early part of the season. It's been a different challenge lately, though, as Franklin recently pitched just three times in a 16-day stretch.
"It wasn't more difficult [after the limited work]," Franklin said. "I'd rather it have been boring, 1-2-3. Sometimes it doesn't happen like that. These guys are known for coming back."
Franklin permitted an infield single and a broken-bat single before a force play brought home a run. He got out of the inning when Ramon Hernandez hit into a double play.
"I wasn't rattled," he said. "I was confident. The way it arrived was, a groundball, a broken bat for a base hit, and a groundball that just wasn't hit hard enough.
Mozeliak says Lopez near return to Cards
CINCINNATI -- Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said on Saturday that he anticipates infielder Felipe Lopez could be activated as soon as Monday. Earlier this week, manager Tony La Russa had sounded a cautious tone regarding Lopez, but Mozeliak said that things have gone well and Lopez's return to active duty could be very soon.
That might mean bad news for former Cardinals infielder Aaron Miles, who is currently playing at Double-A Springfield. The club signed Miles to a Minor League contract in part as insurance in case Lopez's right elbow strain kept him out for an extended period of time. If Lopez is back soon and fully healthy, it's hard to see a place on the roster for Miles.
Mozeliak said that Miles has an out in his contract that would allow him to elect free agency if he is not on the Major League roster within 30 days after he signed, which was April 27. It's likely that Miles will remain at Double-A for the time being instead of going to Triple-A Memphis.
"I have not set a timetable [regarding Miles]," Mozeliak said. "I think the natural progression is that now that he's playing with a full-season club at a higher level [after starting at extended spring camp] , I think really his performance will dictate the next move. ... The reason I didn't put him at Memphis was I really wanted [Daniel] Descalso to be able to play."
Lopez has been on the disabled list since the same day that Miles signed. He has been throwing in recent days and reported on Saturday that he has had no setbacks.
"We want to be smart, but there's a chance it could happen as early as Monday," Mozeliak said.
Wanna Play? includes Cards' Lopez
CINCINNATI -- Cardinals infielder and former Reds All-Star Felipe Lopez was among several current and former Major Leaguers who participated in the Wanna Play? Spectacular and Youth Summit in downtown Cincinnati on Saturday, part of the festivities surrounding the annual Civil Rights Game.
Lopez joined Reds players Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips as well as former stars like Eric Davis, Joe Morgan and Harold Reynolds at the event, which included a baseball clinic and a question-and-answer session.
"There were some kids, and some fans," Lopez said. "We did a defensive clinic, ground balls, talked about hitting. They would ask questions to us. It was cool."
Lopez is currently on the disabled list with an elbow injury and so could not participate in the Civil Rights Game or any of this weekend's Cardinals series against the Reds.
Triple-A Memphis stranded 10 runners and went 0-for7 with men in scoring position in a 7-1 loss to Portland on Friday. Mark Shorey stayed hot, going 2-for-4 with a home run. Shorey is 9-for-24 with five extra-base hits in his last six games. ... Aaron Miles scored the winning run on a 13th-inning wild pitch as Double-A Springfield beat Northwest Arkansas, 3-2. Scott Gorgen walked four against one strikeout, but allowed only an unearned run in seven innings. Springfield hitters drew eight walks in the game. ... Class A Palm Beach swept Charlotte in a doubleheader, winning by scores of 5-2 and 4-2. Scott McGregor pitched seven strong innings in the opener, allowing two runs on nine hits over seven innings. Tony Cruz doubled twice and drove in a run in the second game. ... Class A Quad Cities was held to six hits, five of them singles, in a 7-2 loss to Kane County. Jason Stidham doubled, walked and scored.
Player of the day goes to Springfield reliever Blake King, who struck out three over two perfect innings to finish off the win. King, still only 23, was a 44th-round pick in the 2005 Draft. He's 1-0 with a 2.50 ERA this season for Springfield, with 21 strikeouts, 11 walks and two homers allowed in 18 innings over 13 relief appearances.
After Livan Hernandez's start on Saturday, Jaime Garcia moved up to second in the National League in ERA at 1.42. He trails only Colorado's Ubaldo Jimenez, who is at 1.12. ... With the exception of the starting pitcher, the Cardinals used an identical lineup on Saturday as on Friday. ... General manager John Mozeliak confirmed on Saturday that Mitchell Page is no longer in the organization. Page, formerly the Cardinals' hitting coach, was serving this year as the hitting coach at Class A Quad Cities.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.