PHOENIX (AP) _ A sprained left ankle kept Mark McGwire out of the starting lineup Sunday night when the St. Louis Cardinals wrapped up their four-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

``Today he's a little bit better. I could pinch-hit him. We're hoping that with the off-day on Monday, he will be ready on Tuesday,'' Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said.

La Russa did use McGwire as a pinch hitter, and McGwire was intentionally walked in the ninth inning of the Cardinals' 3-2, 10-inning loss.

McGwire left Saturday night's game in the top of the third inning. He said later that he isn't sure when he hurt his ankle, but it was sometime Friday night during Jose Jimenez's no-hitter.

McGwire has played in all but three of the Cardinals' 75 games.