ST. LOUIS (AP) _ Reggie Sanders, who leads the postseason with 12 RBIs, was out of the St. Louis Cardinals' lineup in Game 3 of the NL championship series Saturday due to a neck injury sustained in an awkward spill in the outfield.

Sanders said the pain level was a ``seven or eight'' on a scale of one to 10 on Friday. Manager Tony La Russa said Sanders had made some improvement, but not enough.

``When you play baseball you're going to have to swing, you're going to have to throw, you're going to have to defend, so that's punishment,'' La Russa said. ``He got pounded on his back so he had some trauma and some discomfort and that's been localized.

``The neck where he had the whiplash, that's what's sore _ more sore.''

The Cardinals' reconfigured lineup had So Taguchi, who was 4-for-8 for his career against Astros Game 3 starter Roger Clemens, playing left field in place of Sanders and batting second. Jim Edmonds moved from second to cleanup to give the team more punch in the middle of the lineup, and Larry Walker batted fifth.

Walker also had medical issues, primarily a herniated disc in his neck that has required four cortisone injections. He entered the game 1-for-16 with the lone hit a broken-bat single but La Russa noted he's a three-time NL batting champion.

``The point on Walker, he's looked kind of ouchy and then all of a sudden in a game he'll go out there and get two or three hits and do a lot of damage,'' La Russa said. ``He's liable to show up today and have the hits that win the game.''