Thursday, April 14, 2016

Back in action: Wong for Cards, Broxton for Brewers

The Brewers and Cardinals will each re-insert a slumping hitter to the lineup for Thursday's finale of the opening series at Busch Stadium. Milwaukee's Wily Peralta matches up against St. Louis starter Jaime Garcia in the rubber match of the three-game set.
For the Cardinals, second baseman Kolten Wong is likely returning to duty after beginning the season 6-for-27 without an extra-base hit. St. Louis manager Mike Matheny sat Wong on Wednesday to give him a mental break after Wong went hitless in nine at-bats on Sunday and Monday.
"Right now, just kind of letting him sort through," Matheny said. "I think he's been kind of fighting a little bit even through this spring. Also, I think we all are victims of having real short memories. He almost had five hits the other day [Saturday] when we were in Atlanta. You forget about those in a hurry when you have a couple games that don't feel quite right."
For the Brewers, it's center fielder Keon Broxton returning to the lineup. A rookie who made his first Opening Day roster, Broxton has one hit -- a single -- in his last 31 at-bats going back to Spring Training. Manager Craig Counsell said Broxton has been too passive at the plate, but noted he's had only 11 regular-season at-bats so far.
Things to know about this game:
• Peralta earned his first Opening Day start but has been ineffective in each of his Brewers starts so far. Opponents are batting .394 (13-for-33) with three home runs against the right-hander, who is 0-2 with a 10.80 ERA. He's 4-8 with a 4.74 ERA in 13 career starts against the Cardinals, including 0-4 with a 5.73 ERA last season.
• Garcia is 10-3 with a 2.34 ERA in 21 career April starts, including his no-decision in Atlanta on April 8. He's 9-4 with a 2.90 ERA in 17 career games, 16 starts, against the Brewers. Last season, he went 3-1 with a 1.91 ERA against Milwaukee.
• Garcia is the third left-handed starter the Brewers have faced in their first nine games. The Brewers lost to the Giants' Madison Bumgarner on Opening Day but beat the Astros' Dallas Keuchel on Sunday.

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