Tommy Pham has hot hand at plate day after freak injury

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.

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.

“If I could have run out there myself and stopped him, I would have done it,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said after his team’s 9-5 win Thursday night. “What we’re basically or what I’m saying at that point is that I don’t care about that runner and I’ve got all the confidence in the world for Chris to get the guy out.”

Orioles manager Buck Showalter lauded Peterson for his aggressiveness.

“We were trying to draw Archer into the play where he would get hurt and wouldn’t be able to pitch anymore,” Showalter jokingly said Friday. “He actually tweaked his [hamstring] a little bit on that. That’s a player play. The fact is, it was a little bit closer than it should have been.”

Archer (2-1) allowed four runs and 11 hits with seven strikeouts and one walk over 5 1/3 innings, and the Rays extended their winning streak to six. Archer was confident that he could have made the play against Peterson at third.