National League Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, April 8th (All times Eastern)
St. Louis Cardinals (2-1) at Milwaukee Brewers (1-1), 2:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: St. Louis - Lance Lynn (0-0, 0.00) Milwaukee - Randy Wolf (0-0, 0.00)
(Sports Network) - There has been plenty of offense in this series between the Cardinals and Brewers.
One team will walk away with early-season bragging rights between the National League Central rivals when St. Louis and Milwaukee play the rubber match of a three-game series this afternoon.
After the clubs split 18 regular-season meetings, many of those heated affairs, the Cardinals got past the Brewers in six games en route to their second World Series title in six years.
The Cardinals then opened defense of their title with a win at Miami on Wednesday before knocking off the Brewers 11-5 on Friday on Milwaukee's opener.
The Brewers rebounded on Saturday in shutout fashion, riding seven scoreless innings from Zack Greinke and a pair of homers by Corey Hart to a 6-0 triumph.
Hart took Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright deep for a solo homer in the second inning and hit a two-run shot off Victor Marte in the sixth. Rickie Weeks homered off Fernando Salas in the eighth, part of a 2-for-4 afternoon in which he scored twice.
Greinke allowed just three singles in seven innings while striking out seven.
"I threw good games last year, but always seemed to find a way to give up a run," Greinke said. "You're always excited to pitch your first game, regardless if it's Opening Day or not."
Wainwright (0-1), who placed second in NY Cy Young voting in 2010, missed the Cardinals' entire campaign last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in early 2011. He allowed three runs on four hits while striking out six in 5 2/3 innings.
"I think we all went in there knowing [Greinke] had good stuff, and he had a good spring, so we knew he was feeling good. But our guy went out there and kind of did the same thing," said St. Louis manager Mike Matheny. "He just had one bad breaking ball that he left up. He did a great job against a great lineup."
The Cardinals were held to just five hits, all singles, including two from David Freese.
With Chris Carpenter on the disabled list, Lance Lynn will begin his second major league season in the rotation.
The 6-foot-5 righty made 18 appearances last year, including two starts, and posted a 3.12 earned run average. He missed the final 46 games of the regular season, but returned for the NLCS against the Brewers. He appeared in five of those six games, earning a win in Game 2.
Lynn, 24, made six appearances this past spring with four starts and went 1-0 with a 2.61 ERA.
The Brewers counter with a veteran in 35-year-old Randy Wolf, who begins his third season with the club. Wolf has won 13 games in each of his previous two campaigns with Milwaukee, going 13-10 in 33 starts last year with a 3.69 ERA.
The southpaw is 8-8 with a 3.91 ERA in 19 career starts versus the Cardinals and beat them in Game 4 of last year's NLCS. Wolf put together a solid outing, allowing just two runs over seven innings.
04/08 10:28:04 ET