Friday, June 14, 2013

Westbrook makes return from DL as Cardinals visit Marlins (Lineup)

The major league leading St. Louis Cardinals are coming off yet another series win following Adam Wainwright's electric performance on the mound yesterday in New York as they defeated the Mets 2 to 1 and are looking to end their current road trip on a good note as they are hosted by the Marlins for three games in the beautiful city of Miami.

As the Cardinals are 20 games over the .500 mark, they are also a league-best 24-11 on the road this season and are currently holding a three and a half game lead over the Cincinnati Reds for first place in the National League Central division. While Miami is just 11-22 overall at home -- and 19-46 overall for the season -- they are a young team with confidence and certainly should not be taken lightly.

Tonight marks the return of starting pitcher Jake Westbrook for St. Louis as he hasn't pitched since he got the win in the teams' 5 to 4 win over the Cubs on May 8th. He is returning to the leagues best starting rotation after spending well over a month on the disabled list with right elbow inflammation. Before the injury and so far this season, Westbrook is 2-1 with an Earned Run Average of 1.62 through six starts. Arguably the most impressive stat from him before his injury was the fact that he had yet to allow a home run in 39.0 innings -- and had a major league-best 76.5 percent ground-ball rate.

David Freese is batting .464 (13 for 28) against Marlins pitchers in his career. Beltran, who is currently looking to extend his overall hit streak to 13 games tonight as he is 20 for 55 (.364) in that span with four home runs and 13 RBIs, is a career .333 hitter against the Marlins.

The game will deliver the first pitch at 6:05 pm Central Time as it will be televised locally on FOX Sports Midwest. Here is a look at the Cardinals lineup that Mike Matheny has put together to face Jose Fernandez (3-3, 3.17 ERA) of the Marlins:

1. Matt Carpenter -- Second Base
2. Carlos Beltran -- Right Field
3. Matt Holliday -- Left Field
4. Allen Craig -- First Base
5. Yadier Molina -- Catcher
6. David Freese -- Third Base
7. Jon Jay -- Center Field
8. Pete Kozma -- Shortstop
9. Jake Westbrook -- Pitcher

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