7/27 Extra bases

Kerry Wood was back with the team Wednesday, recovered from his bout with a virus, and available. The right-hander has not pitched since July 20. He posted a 1.38 ERA in his first 13 appearances and has a 4.91 ERA in his last 20. However, outfielder Reed Johnson was still bothered by his back, and not available Wednesday. He has not played since Saturday.

* Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Pena are both in a funk. Soriano did not start Wednesday. He’s batting .171 (12-for-70) in July after hitting .265 in June. He has one home run in his last 32 games — July 22.

“He hasn’t been able to be consistent,” Quade said of Soriano. “It’s been a tough run for him. We’ll give him a mental day off, or at least won’t start him, and give Blake [DeWitt] a needed game.”

Pena entered Wednesday’s game 0-for-15, and batting .219 overall.

“He goes through these things,” Quade said of his first baseman. “Hitters go through this a lot and I don’t think it’s unique to Carlos. Nobody works harder than him on his swing.”

* Quade is a proponent of instant replay or possibly challenge flags, like coaches use in the NFL, to get close calls like the one that ended the Pirates-Braves game correct.

“The question I had is if you went to a challenge flag system, would you still have the flag in your pocket in the 19th at 2 in the morning?” Quade said Wednesday about the 19-inning marathon game, which the Braves won on a controversial play at the plate.

Quade is an advocate of instant replay in football and would support something similar in baseball. That said, he doesn’t want 15 replays a night.

“[The umpires] don’t want to get those calls wrong,” he said. “They’re bearing down and these things are going to happen. If you have the ability to correct it, in some sort of form that doesn’t have us all here for five hours, maybe you look into that.”

* Edwin Jackson, whom the Cardinals acquired Wednesday in a three-team multi-player deal with the Blue Jays and White Sox, will open the Chicago-St. Louis series on Friday. Kyle Lohse will start Saturday. Jackson was the winning pitcher when the White Sox beat the Cubs, 6-4, on July 1 at Wrigley Field in an Interleague game. He gave up four runs on five hits over six innings, including a home run by Aramis Ramirez.

– Carrie Muskat

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