Tommy Pham has hot hand at plate day after freak injury

ST. LOUIS -- A day after cutting his head while preparing for his second at-bat, Cardinals center fielder Tommy Pham went 4-for-6, scored two runs and knocked in a run in a 4-3 win over the New York Mets in 13 innings Thursday afternoon.

All it took to return to the lineup was a bandage on his forehead and a bigger batting helmet.

"Mike [Matheny] said if my helmet didn't fit, I can't play," Pham told reporters before the game, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "So I got a bigger helmet."

The club's training staff signed off on Pham's return as well, with the manager, Matheny, saying Pham checked out fine.

"There was just a lot of blood," said Matheny of Wednesday's incident in the batting cage, "and that drew everybody's concern."

Pham was just happy he was able to return to the lineup so quickly.

"It could have been worse,'' Pham said. "I'm just extremely lucky.''

Pham was injured when he accidentally hit himself in the indoor batting cage while warming up before his second at-bat.

"I was in the cages working on my swing," Pham said Wednesday night. "My barrel went back and hit the band of this contraption and drilled me in the head. When blood started gushing down, I had to get that fixed."

Pham, who has been battling hamstring issues, missed games on Saturday and Sunday against Cincinnati. He returned to the lineup Tuesday and went 3-for-3 with a home run and two RBIs in a 6-5 loss to the Mets.

Pham hit a fly ball to right field in the first inning on Wednesday. Harrison Bader then pinch hit for him in the third.

"Blood started gushing down," Pham said of the incident. "My whole jersey was filled with blood."

Pham passed concussion tests on Wednesday night, then found the proper helmet for Thursday's game.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.