July 7, 2022

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Rainout sets Waino up for key series vs. Brewers

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ST. LOUIS — For the second time in three days, the Cardinals had a series finale rained out at home. On a positive note, Wednesday’s washout means the Redbirds will have staff ace Adam Wainwright available to open their upcoming series against the NL Central-rival Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday.

Wednesday’s Cardinals-Royals game was supposed to pit Wainwright against Kansas City Royals veteran ace Zack Greinke in a marquee matchup of potential Hall of Famers. Wainwright, 40, is 185-105 with a 3.34 ERA in his career, while the 38-year-old Greinke is 219-132 with a 3.41 ERA with the Royals, Brewers, Angels, Dodgers, D-backs and Astros.

The Cardinals and Royals will make up Wednesday’s postponed game on Monday, May 2, at 3:15 p.m. CT at Busch Stadium. Tickets for the washout will be valid for the rescheduled game on May 2. Additional Cardinals ticket policy details are available online at cardinals.com/tickets. Coincidentally, the May 2 makeup game at Busch Stadium will precede a two game-series between the two teams in Kansas City from May 3-4.

The Cardinals, who had an off-day following their 9-0 Opening Day rout of Pittsburgh, have played just four games in seven days. Their series finale against Pittsburgh on Monday was also postponed because of storms in the area.

“I feel like we’ve played three games in two weeks,” said Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol, who was forced to miss two games last week because of a case of the flu. “I guess I have [been in only two games]. But it’s helpful to know we’re going to play baseball [in Milwaukee and Miami with domed stadiums]. Guys are wanting that.”

Marmol was slated to start Edmundo Sosa at second base on Wednesday to rest Tommy Edman, but the washout means Sosa has still yet to appear in a game this season. The same thing happened on Monday to DH/OF Lars Nootbaar, who saw his first start of the season also wiped out by rain. Marmol said getting reliever Drew VerHagen into a game soon is also a top priority for the team.

Wainwright — a 17-game winner who finished seventh in the NL Cy Young voting a year ago — will pitch for the Cardinals on Thursday when they open a four-game set in Milwaukee. The Brewers won the NL Central last year, while the Cardinals made a late run with a historic 17-game winning streak to nab a Wild Card berth. Miles Mikolas (Friday) and Steven Matz (Saturday) will pitch the second and third games of the series.

Either Jordan Hicks or Dakota Hudson will start the finale on Sunday for the Cardinals. Hicks, a reliever throughout much of his career, had the first start of his career pushed back by rain earlier in the week. Now, following another rainout, the same thing could happen to Hicks’ weekend start. Hicks pitched two scoreless innings in Tuesday’s 6-5 defeat of the Royals.

“We liked what we saw, and I liked the fact that he was under control,” Marmol said of Hicks, who opened with an 11-pitch walk to Cam Gallagher but needed just 16 more pitches to retire the next five hitters. “Being calm and his overall demeanor for being out there, I liked it.”

Marmol said he and his staff have yet to decide how they will deploy designated hitter Albert Pujols against Milwaukee. Pujols hit the 680th home run of his career — and his first since returning to the Cardinals for a second stint — on Tuesday against the Royals. The Cardinals view the 42-year-old Pujols as their best DH and pinch-hitter options against left-handers. Aaron Ashby is the lone southpaw scheduled to start for the Brewers in the upcoming series.

“Part of our conversations have been about what those lineups will look like over the next four days,” Marmol said.

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