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Berkman Eases Into Job, Franklin Takes a Hit
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Lance Berkman's first day as a regular outfielder since 2004 was perfect -- no plays to test his skills. One pitch made Ryan Franklin's first day as a 38-year-old closer one to forget.

Both St. Louis Cardinals noted there are 161 games to go.

Franklin made the most of his scant save opportunities last year, going 27 for 29. He's 0 for 1 after surrendering Cameron Maybin's tying homer with two outs in the ninth inning of Thursday's 11-inning opening loss to the San Diego Padres.

The 35-year-old Berkman got a one-year free agent deal to add lineup depth, while willing to concede a bit on defense to find a position other than first base. Berkman had two hits batting fifth but needed no glove in eight innings on the job with no fly balls to track or base hits to field.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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