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News » Cardinals-Braves Preview 2008-07-29


Cardinals-Braves Preview 2008-07-29


Cardinals-Braves Preview 2008-07-29
As they continue their push for the postseason, the St. Louis Cardinals and their offense again showed some signs of life their last time out. The Atlanta Braves' playoff chances, meanwhile, appear to have evaporated after injuries to two key members of the team.

The Cardinals hope to build some momentum from a big win in this series opener as they continue their four-game set against the banged-up Braves on Tuesday.

St. Louis (59-49) defeated Atlanta 12-3 on Monday to win for just the second time in eight games. The Cardinals remained four games back of the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs and moved to within two games of wild card-leading Milwaukee.

St. Louis has scored the fifth-most runs in the NL (512), but has lacked consistency lately, scoring 22 runs in its last two wins and only 12 in its past six losses. The Cardinals finished with a season high in runs Monday after losing 9-1 to the New York Mets on Sunday.

Albert Pujols drove in three runs Monday, and is 8-for-14 (.571) with two home runs and seven RBIs in his last three games after going hitless in 11 at-bats in his previous three. The seven-time All-Star is hitting .375 (9-for-24) with two homers, six RBIs and has a .529 on-base percentage in eight games against the Braves since the start of last season.

While the Cardinals are in the thick of the NL playoff hunt, Atlanta (49-56) is in fourth place in the NL East, 7 1/2 games back of the first-place New York Mets.

The Braves made a couple of major roster moves Monday, placing Chipper Jones, who leads the majors with a .369 average, and No. 1 starter Tim Hudson on the disabled list.

Atlanta's' pitching staff has been ravaged by injuries, as John Smoltz and Peter Moylan are out for the season, and Tom Glavine and Rafael Soriano have spent significant time on the DL.

"It's awfully bleak because of the injury situation and the trade deadline coming up and the trade rumors swirling around here," said Jones, who is out with a left hamstring injury. "We're already pointed toward next year."

Mark Teixeira, whose name is being mentioned in trade rumors, doubled twice and drove in a run Monday. He is batting .412 (14-for-34) with three home runs, nine RBIs and nine runs in 10 games since the All-Star break.

Jorge Campillo (5-4, 2.78 ERA) takes the mound Tuesday in place of Hudson, who is out with tightness in his pitching elbow.

Campillo moves up in the starting rotation after going only 1 2-3 innings Sunday in Philadelphia before the game was delayed by rain. In his previous start on July 13, the right-hander gave up two hits and struck out six in seven innings of a 4-0 win over Florida, his second straight victory.

This will be Campillo's first career start against the Cardinals.

St. Louis counters with Todd Wellemeyer (8-4, 4.19), who makes his first career start versus Atlanta.

Wellemeyer has been struggling lately, going 1-3 with a 7.00 ERA in his last seven starts after going 5-0 with a 1.88 ERA in his previous seven.

The right-hander had trouble with his control against Milwaukee on Thursday, allowing two runs, five hits and a season-high five walks in five innings, but did not receive a decision in a 4-3 loss.

Wellemeyer has yet to record a decision in six relief appearances against the Braves, posting a 3.00 ERA in those outings.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: July 29, 2008

jeff-suppan
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