June 13: White Sox (34-27) @ Cardinals (31-31)

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Biggest news this afternoon came out in the bullpen, while the stadium was empty. There, Chris Carpenter returned to the mound.  Carpenter threw 26 fastballs during the session, though he didn’t throw at full strength. That’s not a red flag. Rather, Carpenter is treating this return to the mound as he would a session in January, when he’s just beginning the process of building up his arm.

Carpenter will throw several more bullpen sessions — increasing the number of pitches, adding breaking pitches, adding more effort — before the Cardinals determine a next step. He is obviously still weeks away from being close to returning, but this is at least some positive news for a Cardinal team needing something to smile about.

In other positive injury news, Skip Schumaker has left the club to begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Memphis. Schumaker, who has been sidelined by a right hamstring injury, went 1-for-2 while playing five innings in center field on Wednesday afternoon.

More on all this and other news items in the cardinals.com notebook on the website tonight.

As for the game tonight, the Cardinals won’t have to worry about Adam Dunn, for one. He was scratched from Chicago’s original lineup with a slightly sprained right ankle. The club, which currently sits three games behind the Reds in the division, is, however, in jeopardy of falling below .500 for the first time since April 2011.

Lance Lynn is out to prevent that slip and will be looking to become the first 10-game winner in the National League. The last time the NL’s first 10-game winner came from the Cardinals was in 1954, when Harvey Haddix won his 10th game of the season on this date.

CARDINALS LINEUP:

  1. Rafael Furcal (SS)
  2. Carlos Beltran (RF)
  3. Matt Holliday (LF)
  4. Allen Craig (1B)
  5. David Freese (3B)
  6. Yadier Molina (C)
  7. Daniel Descalso (2B)
  8. Shane Robinson (CF)
  9. Lance Lynn (RHP)

WHITE SOX LINEUP:

  1. Alejandro De Aza (CF)
  2. Gordon Beckham (2B)
  3. Dayan Viciedo (LF)
  4. Paul Konerko (1B)
  5. Alex Rios (RF)
  6. A.J. Pierzynski (C)
  7. Alexei Ramirez (SS)
  8. Orlando Hudson (3B)
  9. Jake Peavy (RHP)

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

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