AP Sports Writer
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Lance Berkman doesn't expect to get much, if any, action in the Rangers' interleague series against the Cardinals while getting time off for rest and knee soreness.
The Rangers' DH has only four starts at first base, and the pitchers are batting in the weekend series matching 2011 World Series opponents. He wasn't in the lineup Friday night and didn't seem to mind, saying it made sense to take the rest.
"I was probably going to play one game anyway if I did play in the field, and they figured 'What's one game worth when it comes to the rest of the season?'" Berkman said. "We've still got a long way to go."
Manager Ron Washington was cagey on the issue, saying "I can use him." Washington added that if Berkman was sufficiently inspired by his return to St. Louis he might factor into the series.
"If he's got sentimental things on his chest, he might get a start," Washington said. "If he don't, he won't."
Washington said he was over the loss in a topsy-turvy World Series by the next spring training, and considered this just another series.
"I'm through crying," he said, adding a fake sniff for emphasis.
Berkman was a key component of the Cardinals' 2011 championship team, batting .301 with 31 homers and 94 RBIs, but missed virtually all of the 2012 season due to knee problems. He had considered retiring before signing with the Rangers.
Berkman said returning to St. Louis had a welcoming feel that was lacking his first trip back to Houston, which he described as "more of an antagonistic feel."
Berkman was batting .260 with six homers and 33 RBIs after a prolonged slump in which he batted .184 (16 for 87) in 23 games.
"You saw him extremely healthy," Washington told a St. Louis reporter. "We're seeing him healthy, but not extremely healthy."
But Washington added, "Just when you count him out, he comes up big."
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