May 9: Cardinals (19-11) @ D-backs (14-17)

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Yadier Molina, as expected, is out of the lineup on Wednesday. However, he is cautiously optimistic that he’ll be able to return for the series opener on Friday. Additional evaluations revealed no fracture in his left hand, which was hit by a Mitchell Boggs pitch on Tuesday.

Molina did not participate in BP on Wednesday, as his hand is still a bit sore. Still, everyone is relieved with the diagnosis, which many feared would be much worse when the incident happened.

As noted in the story last night, the Cardinals do have some emergency options behind Tony Cruz. Matt Carpenter, Daniel Descalso and David Freese could all catch, if necessary. The preference would be to stay away from using Freese behind the plate, if at all possible.

According to this nifty MLB.com home run tracker, which I just discovered today, Carlos Beltran’s 460-foot homer on Tuesday night is the fourth-longest homer hit in the Majors this year. Travis Hafner’s 481-foot blast on April 15 remains the one to beat. Click here for the breakdown.

This will be the fifth time the Cardinals have had a chance to close out a three-game sweep. They’ve come up empty the first four times. If they are to complete this sweep, they’ll have the task of getting to a pitcher that no one on this club has faced before. Lefty Wade Miley is 4-0 in seven career appearances (four starts) at Chase Field.

CARDINALS LINEUP:

  1. Rafael Furcal (SS)
  2. Carlos Beltran (RF)
  3. Matt Holliday (LF)
  4. Allen Craig (1B)
  5. David Freese (3B)
  6. Tyler Greene (2B)
  7. Shane Robinson (CF)
  8. Tony Cruz (C)
  9. Kyle Lohse (RHP)

D-BACKS LINEUP:

  1. Gerardo Parra (CF)
  2. Willie Bloomquist (SS)
  3. Justin Upton (RF)
  4. Miguel Montero (C)
  5. Jason Kubel (LF)
  6. Aaron Hill (2B)
  7. Lyle Overbay (1B)
  8. Ryan Roberts (3B)
  9. Wade Miley (LHP)

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

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