HOUSTON -- Outfielder Erik Komatsu was claimed off waivers by the Twins on Friday. Komatsu hit .211 (4-for-19) in 15 games this season for St. Louis.

He was designated for assignment on May 1 when the Cardinals recalled infielder/outfielder Allen Craig from a rehab assignment at Triple-A Memphis.

"I had a feeling once we let him go we wouldn't see him," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "I'm happy for him, sad for us. I think [the Twins] are going to like what they see in him, the way he goes about playing the game.

"We went into spring completely blind about what we were going to see [from him]. We had some good reports from our advanced scouts and even heard from different players that he was pretty good. He went and spent some time with [hitting coach] Mark [McGwire] over the summer.

"He showed up in spring and did everything right. The opportunity just didn't present itself to him."

Craig returned to the lineup at first base on Friday.

"Right now it just seems to be the obvious spot where we have some need," Matheny said. "So that plays well for him. I just think it's a little easier with his movements right now then trying to push him into the outfield."

Berkman day to day, could miss Astros series

HOUSTON -- Cardinals first baseman Lance Berkman was eligible to come off the disabled list on Friday, but the former Astro could miss the three-game series in Houston.

St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said that Friday's workout didn't go as well as Berkman hoped.

"He did do some running and it didn't go quite as well as he wanted," Matheny said. "So we're back to day to day. He'll probably rest a little more tomorrow, more therapy, and in a couple of days run him some more. But he's got one localized spot that seems to be grabbing.

"I do think he was expecting more. He'd been very vocal about feeling good. I think he was a little set back today. We'll reevaluate tomorrow and reevaluate on Sunday."

Matheny wouldn't completely count him out for the series in Houston.

"We'll see," he said.

Berkman, however, remained optimistic about his chances of playing against his former teammates. He has been out with a calf strain.

"I think there's a chance," Berkman said. "Couple of days, you never know."

Returning to Houston is always special, Berkman said.

"Every time I walk into this building you can't help but think of all kinds of good things that have happened here, on both sides now."

Carpenter happy to be back in Texas

HOUSTON -- Lance Berkman isn't the only player on the Cardinals' roster making a return trip to his old stamping ground. St. Louis infielder/outfielder Matt Carpenter was born in Galveston, south of Houston, and attended high school near Dallas before attending TCU.

The "Matt Carpenter Fan Club" is expected to be in full force throughout the weekend series.

"Yeah, a little bit," Carpenter said. "Obviously this is where I grew up, right here in the Houston area. I still have a lot of friends and family who live in the area. So it's always nice to come home and play in front of them.

"Last year I was here, and it was like 25 people told me they were coming to the game, and 50 show up."

Carpenter said he doesn't get a big request for tickets, however.

"Most of my friends and people I grew up with, they don't want to bother me or distract me from the game," he said. "So they kind of take care of tickets for themselves.

"It's fun to be home and getting to play in front of them. You're not going to try to do anything different. You just play your game. It's just nice to be back."

Beltran out with tightness in leg

HOUSTON -- Carlos Beltran felt tightening in the back of his leg near the hamstring area during workouts Thursday, when he was out of the starting lineup against the Pirates but did pinch-hit, and he was out of the lineup against the Astros on Friday.

"He said it wasn't that big of a deal and could go," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "But we're going to have to be careful this month. We've got one off-day, so we're really going to have to be searching and listening to when these guys need a day [off]. I think we all know that keeping them healthy is the key."

Matheny said Beltran would likely play Saturday.

"Yeah, if he feels the same," he said. "We'll reevaluate tomorrow."