Struggling Cardinals look to rebound in three-game series vs. lowly Marlins

News-DemocratJuly 5, 2013 

— It's not been a productive two weeks for the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Cardinals have dropped eight of 11 heading into their three-game weekend series against Miami that begins at 7:15 p.m. Friday. St. Louis' latest setback came in gut-wrenching fashion Thursday night when the Los Angeles Angels scored three ninth-inning runs against Adam Wainwright and Edward Mujica to win 6-5.

"The guys seem to be fine. They got good sleep," said Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, who allowed his players to skip batting practice and report to Busch Stadium later than usual. "I think we're more accustomed to the different schedule than we were early on. I think everybody got rest and we're ready to go. I haven't heard too many complaints."

Whatever drowsiness the Cardinals might experience, Matheny said, will be wiped out by the energy of the home crowd. St. Louis hasn't played at Busch Stadium since July 23 against Texas, a game that extended into July 24 because of a long rain delay.

"We always love being at home and getting in front of our home fans," Matheny said. "We've just got to play. We've got to play good baseball and try to take advantage of the opportunities we have.

"That's the great thing about this game: We get a chance to get back home and start a new run."

Matheny disagreed that his club's 3-8 record since June 21 is its first taste of adversity this season.

"We've had adversity," he said. "We've had plenty of things not go exactly how we want them to. It's just important to keep playing the game. We all talk. We don't necessarily need team meetings; sometimes you do. A lot of times it's just everybody getting together whenever we have hitters' meetings, pitchers' meetings. We talk about things (then). ... This stuff works itself out in time."

Here are the lineups:

CARDINALS (50-34)

Matt Carpenter, 2B

Jon Jay, CF

Matt Holliday, LF

Allen Craig, 1B

Yadier Molina, C

Matt Adams, 1B

David Freese, 3B

Daniel Descalso, SS

Jake Westbrook, P

MARLINS (32-52)

Justin Ruggiano, LF

Ed Lucas, 3B

Giancarlo Stanton, RF

Logan Morrison, 1B

Marcell Ozuna, CF

Derek Dietrich, 2B

Adeiny Hechavarria, SS

Jeff Mathis, C

Jacob Turner, P

Contact reporter David Wilhelm at dwilhelm@bnd.com or 239-2665.

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