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Series Preview 7/28-29: Cardinals at Twins

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Pittsburgh Pirates v St Louis Cardinals Photo by Scott Kane/Getty Images

After taking two of three from the Pirates at Busch Stadium during Opening Weekend, the Cardinals are in Minneapolis for two games with the Twins this week. The Twins won on Friday and Sunday in Chicago against the White Sox.

Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt had a great weekend against the Pirates, going 5-for-12 with four runs scored, including his first home run of the year. Over on the Twins’ side, it’s hard to not notice what Nelson Cruz has been doing. Just three weeks removed from his 40th birthday, Cruz is rolling; on Sunday, Cruz went 4-for-5 with two doubles, two home runs, and seven RBIs and is batting .538 through Minnesota’s first three games.

The Twins will send one of their newest pitchers to the mound on Tuesday — the 34-year-old Homer Bailey, who has seen more than his fair share of the Cardinals. Bailey was with the Reds from 2007 to 2018 before splitting time between the Royals and Athletics last year. Matt Carpenter and Yadier Molina will be glad to face Bailey on Tuesday evening; Carpenter is 21-for-46 (.457) and Molina is 20-for-50 (.400) with three long balls. The current St. Louis roster has slashed .336/.377/.539 off Bailey.

The Cardinals will send Carlos Martinez to the mound to make his season debut and his first regular-season start since 2018. In last week’s exhibition game against the Royals, Martinez entered the game in relief and tossed four innings, giving up just one run on two hits.

Lefty Rich Hill will go for Minnesota on Wednesday. The 40-year-old has been in the league since 2005, spending time with the Cubs, Orioles, Red Sox, Indians, Angels, Yankees, Athletics, Dodgers, and now the Twins. Hill missed nearly three months last year with a forearm strain, and that was after the start of his 2019 campaign was pushed back by a knee sprain.

Miles Mikolas was scheduled to go for the Cardinals on Wednesday but was placed on the injured list Tuesday afternoon with a forearm strain. The club has not announced who will start in his place.

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Tuesday, 7/28, 7:10 PM CT | Bailey vs. Martinez | FSMW, KMOX, WJIR

Wednesday, 7/29, 7:10 PM CT | Hill vs. TBD | FSMW, KMOX, WJIR