ST. LOUIS -- Outfielder Chris Carter was back in the lineup Wednesday against the Cardinals and showed few lingering effects of the minor hand injury that limited him the past four days.
Carter took his first pitch he saw from Cardinals starter Shelby Miller and hit it 385 feet to right field for the first run of the game. The second-inning blast was Carter's 18th home run of the season, tops among the Astros.
Carter took a ball off his right hand as he slid to second base against the Rangers on Friday, causing some soreness and pain when he put pressure on it or swung a bat.
"Everything is good," Carter said before the game. "It's been four days now. I got a couple pinch-hits, but it's good to be back out there again."
Carter sat out Saturday, and pinch-hit Sunday and Tuesday. Manager Bo Porter said Carter could have started Tuesday in St. Louis, but he wanted to see the left fielder go through a full batting practice before returning to the lineup. The Astros didn't take batting practice Sunday and then had an off-day Monday, so Tuesday was Carter's first opportunity to do so.
"I wanted him to go through a complete batting practice where he feels the impact and report no ill effects or setbacks before we put him into the lineup," Porter said. "Today he's back in there and he should be good to go."
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. Chad Thornburg is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.