Monday, April 11, 2016

Cards take on rival Brewers in home opener

Fifty-four days after holding their first Spring Training workout, the Cardinals are finally headed home.
One of seven teams yet to play in their own ballpark, the Cardinals will host the Brewers in a Monday home opener to kick off the 10th anniversary of Busch Stadium. Leading up to first pitch, the organization will salute its history with a parade of its Hall of Famers and will have Lou Brock back to throw the ceremonial first pitch.
It's the sort of St. Louis pomp and circumstance that the Brewers know well. They were the visitors in the Cardinals' home opener a year ago, too, and spoiled that day for the home crowd with a 5-4 win. The Cardinals finished the season 13-6 against Milwaukee.
These three games will be Milwaukee's first against a National League Central team, and it will be right-hander Taylor Jungmann drawing the start. Jungmann allowed one earned run over five innings in his season debut.
Michael Wacha will start his second career home opener and seek to improve upon his season debut against the Pirates last Tuesday. Wacha was chased from that outing after allowing five runs (four earned) and 10 hits over 4 1/3 innings.
Things to know about this game:
• The Brewers' Scooter Gennett got off to a hot start in his bid to shed platoon status at second base by joining Rickie Weeks (2011) as the only Brewers second basemen to hit at least three home runs in the team's first five games. Weeks was an NL All-Star that season.
• Randal Grichuk is likely to be back in the Cardinals' lineup on Monday after being benched over the weekend. Before drawing a walk in a pinch-hit at-bat on Sunday, Grichuk had opened the season 1-for-15 with eight strikeouts. He has acknowledged that the early season funk is affecting him mentally.

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