July 1: Cardinals (44-39) @ Giants (46-36)
Oscar Taveras is back with the big league club and he finds himself immediately in the lineup. Manager Mike Matheny explained yesterday that Taveras’ return will give him an opportunity to rest various starters from time to time. On Tuesday, that’s Matt Holliday, despite Holliday’s career .324 average against Giants starter Tim Lincecum.
Allen Craig moves to left — a position he’s more comfortable at and one better suited for his arm — and Taveras takes his place in center. Taveras is also batting second, a spot most recently fitted for Holliday.
“It was good when they called me and said I was going up again,” Taveras said before heading out for batting practice. “I’m ready now. I’m ready to stay here. I’m going to do everything I can do.”
Marco Gonzales is making his second career start, this time in front of a not-so-supportive crowd. He’s also matching up against a pitcher who threw a no-hitter his last time out. Lincecum is one of three pitchers with a no-no this season, and the Cardinals will have now faced all three in a five-game span.
While you’re waiting for the late start in San Francisco, keep an eye on the Triple-A game this evening. Joe Kelly is making his second rehab start. Kolten Wong has joined the Memphis club for a rehab stint, too, and is playing second. You can follow along by clicking here.
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