Cardinals will try to extend their winning ways against Colorado

News-DemocratMay 10, 2013 

— It's the opener of a 10-game homestand at 7:15 p.m. Friday when the St. Louis Cardinals face the Colorado Rockies for the first time this season.

Fast-starting rookie right-hander Shelby Miller (4-2, 1.96 ERA) will toil for the Cardinals and will be opposed by veteran right-hander Jon Garland (2-2, 4.65 ERA).

A competitive series is anticipated. The Cardinals are 21-12 and lead the NL Central by three games over the Cincinnati Reds. Colorado is 19-15 and trails San Francisco and Arizona by one-half game in the NL West.

"Right now, we don't focus too much on what's been done," said Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, whose team is coming off a 5-1 road trip to Milwaukee and Chicago. "We've got a lot of work ahead of us and right now in our faces is a real strong lineup in Colorado. We've got to be on top of our game to play well against them."

The Cardinals' starting rotation has a 2.29 ERA --the lowest in the major leagues. Detroit is second with a 3.17 ERA.

"We've been real happy with how the guys have gone about it," Matheny said. "We've got a long way to go; they know that. We try to take each start one at a time and not get too wrapped up in all those great compliments.

"And not deny them, either. In this game, there's plenty of failures that come with it, so you've got to take advantage of the successes that come."

Miller has been a major cog in the productive rotation. He has the lowest ERA for a Cardinals pitcher in his first seven qualifying starts (five-plus innings) since Chuck Taylor had a 1.65 ERA in 1969.

The best ERA for a Cardinals starter in his first eight qualifying starts was by Howie Pollet (2.09) in 1941.

Here are the lineups:

CARDINALS

Matt Carpenter, 2B

Carlos Beltran, RF

Matt Holliday, LF

Allen Craig, 1B

Yadier Molina, C

Jon Jay, CF

David Freese, 3B

Pete Kozma, SS

Shelby Miller, P

ROCKIES

Eric Young Jr., RF

Dexter Fowler, CF

Carlos Gonzalez, LF

Troy Tulowitzki, SS

Wilin Rosario, C

Todd Helton, 1B

Nolan Arenado, 3B

Josh Rutledge, 2B

Jon Garland, P

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