PITTSBURGH -- Outfielder Jon Jay left the Cardinals on Sunday to return to St. Louis, where he will undergo an MRI as part of a reexamination of his right shoulder. Jay, who is nursing a sprained right shoulder, was experiencing more soreness on Sunday.

"I didn't hear that he was worse today. I didn't hear that he was better today," manager Mike Matheny said, attempting to characterize the setback. "I think it was a situation where they weren't that excited about where he is right now."

Jay had been encouraged by his progress since Thursday, when he jammed his arm into the center-field wall in an attempt to make a catch. Jay came out of that game, and his only appearance since came as a pinch-runner on Saturday.

Jay resumed some light baseball activities on Saturday and was scheduled to take batting practice and test his arm throwing on Sunday morning. Despite a setback in the progress, Matheny didn't rule out Jay rejoining the team on Monday in Chicago. He also did not make the assumption that this means Jay is headed for the disabled list.

"Everybody is still optimistic," Matheny said. "It sounded like they were hoping he'd be a little further along than he was, and to just make sure they didn't miss anything, [we wanted to] get him back home and looked at by our guys again to make sure he is where he should be."

Jay, who has never been on the Major League DL, already had X-rays on his shoulder. Those came back showing no structural damage.

With Jay unavailable on Sunday, the Cardinals were forced to play with a short bench. Matheny did, however, have the benefit of having Skip Schumaker available again. Schumaker passed all the tests he needed to to assure Matheny that his side soreness had subsided. Like Jay, Schumaker had exited a game after running into the outfield wall.

"I felt better today," said Schumaker, who delivered a pinch-hit single in the ninth. "I feel like I'm good enough to play. If I wasn't, I would tell them. I'm not in a spot where I want to jeopardize a really good team, especially with a short bench as it is."

Holliday trying to work his way through slump

PITTSBURGH -- While manager Mike Matheny wouldn't have considered sitting Matt Holliday against Pirates starter Erik Bedard on Sunday, in general, Holliday has continued to ask to play his way out of his ongoing offensive slump.

While some players often opt to take a mental day off during such a stretch, Holliday has asked to stay in the lineup. Matheny has given Holliday the option of sitting several times. Holliday has refused each, and he is actually the only Cardinals player to start all of the team's 16 games.

"[I'm] just trying to find a good comfortable feeling that I don't have," Holliday said. "[I'm] just trying to work through it. I don't know any other way to work through it to get a good feeling going but to work at it. Obviously, I'm not too happy with how things are going."

Since collecting two hits, including a home run, on Thursday, Holliday is 1-for-7 with only an infield hit. He struck out three times on Saturday, twice with a runner on base. He enters Sunday in the middle of a 5-for-35 funk and carrying a .194 season average. Holliday, who hit .383 in Spring Training, is just 2-for-18 with runners in scoring position.

"When you're going through a slump, you feel like you're far [off]," said Holliday, the club's three-hole hitter. "But really, it's just one swing to get one feeling that clicks you in to get you out of it."

Sunday's matchup against Bedard would seem to favor Holliday. The Cardinals' left fielder had five hits in eight career at-bats against the Pittsburgh starter entering Sunday and is 3-for-8 against lefties this year.

"When it's going bad, they're certain that next day is going to be the day they get it right," Matheny said. "I'm certain right beside them. I believe Matt is that close."

Berkman proud of fellow Rice alum Humber

PITTSBURGH -- Joking that it's "what we do" at Rice University, Lance Berkman expressed some alumni pride the day after another former Rice baseball player, Philip Humber, pitched the 21st perfect game in Major League history.

Humber retired all 27 Mariners batters he faced in the White Sox 4-0 win on Saturday. His perfect game was the third in White Sox history and the first in the Majors since Roy Halladay accomplished the feat in May 2010.

"I'm extremely happy for him," said Berkman, who also shares the same agent as Humber. "I'm going to try to reach out to him and tell him congratulations in the next few days."

Though Berkman was drafted out of Rice five years before Humber began his college career, the two have gotten to know each other through various alumni events. Humber and Berkman's brother-in-law also played together on the 2003 national championship team.

Worth noting

• Former manager Tony La Russa is making his rounds delivering World Series rings to 2011 Cardinals players who have since joined other organizations. He was in Detroit on Sunday to present rings to Gerald Laird and Octavio Dotel. On Saturday, La Russa made a ring delivery to Edwin Jackson in Washington.

• Triple-A Memphis rode a nine-run eighth inning to a 12-7 win on Saturday night. Both Adron Chambers and Eugenio Velez hit two-run homers during the inning. Velez finished the game 3-for-5 with three RBIs. Chambers and Jermaine Curtis also had multihit games.

• The Cardinals are scheduled to face, in order, Matt Garza, Jeff Samardzija and Chris Volstad during the team's next series in Chicago.