ST. LOUIS (AP) _ Saint Louis Cardinals reliever Ryan Franklin is back at the ballpark after missing two games with strep throat.
Team doctors advised the Spiro, Oklahoma, native to wait another day but Franklin insisted on returning to the ballpark yesterday.
Franklin, an offseason pickup who had competed for a starting job in spring training, leads the Cardinals with seven holds and has retired 17 of 18 first batters.
Franklin wasn't certain if he'd be strong enough to pitch yesterday. Strong antibiotics have aided in a quick turnaround.
Franklin last pitched on Sunday in Detroit, working a scoreless inning. He hasn't given up a run in his last eight appearances, each an inning in length, and is 1-and-oh with a stingy 0.95 ERA.
Franklin's illness coincided with a visit from his parents and grandparents. Instead of watching him pitch, they took care of him, and were back in Oklahoma Friday when the Cardinals began a three-game series against the Washington Nationals.