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Braves preview

The Cardinals had to face some pretty tough pitching in Arizona and San Francisco. And things aren't going to get any easier when they come home on Monday.

The Redbirds face Atlanta ace Tim Hudson (1-1, 2.89) in the opener of the four-game series while countering with their worst starter -- at least statistically -- Kyle Lohse (0-1, 7.31). Hudson is 3-2 lifetime against St. Louis, but his 5.02 career ERA against the Cardinals is a little bit more encouraging.

Hudson almost became a Cardinal in 2005. He was on the trading block and the Birds were hot and heavy in the dealing. But they ended up losing out to Atlanta. The Redbirds, instead, managed to land one of Hudson's teammates with Oakland, Mark Mulder in exchange for rising star Dan Haren who the Cardinals just face -- and lost to -- in Arizona.

The Braves are 8-11 thanks to a rain-shortened loss Sunday night in New York and their offense makes the Cardinals batters look downright prolific. Four players -- not including the pitcher -- started the Sunday night game against the Mets with batting averages of less than .200. Former Cardinals third baseman Troy Glaus was amongst them with a .175 batting average with two homers and eight RBIs in 2010.

Derek Lowe (3-1, 5.24) is set to take the hill Tuesday agains Chris Carpenter (2-0, 3.60)

Jaime Garcia (1-1, 1.42) will pitch Wednesday against an as yet undetermined Atlanta hurler

The Braves also have not yet said who will face Adam Wainwright (3-1, 1.69) during a Thursday matinee.