July 23: Rays (48-53) @ Cardinals (54-46)

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

wpid-img_20140723_144529823.jpgThe Cardinals close out their five-game homestand tonight and need a win in order to ensure it is a winning one. The club has fallen two games behind the Brewers, who finished off a sweep of the Reds today.

Oscar Taveras is starting for just the third time since July 10 as manager Mike Matheny continues to piecework his lineup based on matchups. He is trying to get both Taveras and Allen Craig enough opportunities to potentially find some traction on the offensive side. Taveras has hit .209/.244/.256 since returning for this second big-league stint.

Lance Lynn gets his second start of the second half tonight, this time facing a Rays team that is 12-4 in July and 15-3 over their last three road trips. Lynn allowed two runs in six-plus innings on Friday.

Matheny did announce this afternoon that Shelby Miller will return to the starting rotation on Saturday. Joe Kelly (Friday) and Adam Wainwright (Sunday) will also face the Cubs over the weekend. With Miller moving back to the rotation, Carlos Martinez is shifting into the bullpen. He will be available on Wednesday. The Cardinals won’t need a fifth starter until August, and at that time, the organization will reevaluate whether Martinez will slide back into a starting role or remain in the ‘pen.

Also in the bullpen tonight is lefty Kevin Siegrist, who was activated from the disabled list today. Nick Greenwood was optioned to Triple-A Memphis in a corresponding move.

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