Cardinals stars return to the lineup for series opener vs. Cleveland Guardians

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First pitch is scheduled for 6:10 p.m. at Cleveland’s Progressive Field 

The Cardinals’ trio of stars — Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado and Willson Contreras — return to the starting lineup after taking a full day off in yesterday’s win. All three will play their standard defensive positions and will make up the second, fourth and fifth spots in the batting order.

With a right-handed pitcher on the mound for the Cleveland Guardians, Nolan Gorman will bat third and serve as the designated hitter. Against right-handed starting pitchers this season, Gorman has an .885 OPS with eight home runs and 29 RBI. 

Tommy Edman will play second base with Brendan Donovan shifting to the outfield. Paul DeJong will start at shortstop and hit sixth. 

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Cardinals (23-29, 4th in the NL Central, 6 GB)

P: Matthew Liberatore, LHP

Guardians (21-28, 3rd in the AL Central, 6 GB)

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Pitching matchup

LHP Matthew Liberatore (1-0, 3.00 ERA): Liberatore is making his second start of the season and his third appearance. In his first start, the lefty went five innings, allowed zero runs and struck out six. In his relief appearance he allowed two earned runs on a hit, walk and hit batsman.  

RHP Shane Bieber (3-3, 3.08 ERA): Bieber has been a prime example of consistency this season, completing the sixth inning in all but one of his 10 starts this season. In Bieber starts this season, Cleveland has scored three or fewer runs eight times. 

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Injury report

OF Tyler O’Neill (lower back strain): O’Neill’s scheduled rehab assignment has been postponed due to not recovering as fast as expected. O’Neill has yet to progress to full baseball activities, per Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol, and will continue to work out in Busch Stadium with hopes of a rehab assignment coming next week. (Updated May 18)

OF Dylan Carlson (left ankle sprain): Carlson has been placed on the 10-day IL retroactive to May 15. Carlson experienced difficulty running at full speed and hitting left-handed in testing. Marmol said the club felt the timeline provided by the injured list aligned with his recovery so opted to place him there rather than wait out the injury. (Updated May 18)

LHP Packy Naughton (left forearm strain): Was moved from the 15-day IL to the 60-day IL after his bullpen session on May 16. Manager Oliver Marmol indicated that the 60-day timeline reflected the amount of time it would take not only for Naughton to recover but to go out on rehab assignments before returning to the major leagues. (Updated May 18)

RHP Jake Woodford (right shoulder inflammation): Woodford threw a bullpen session Saturday and came out well, per Marmol. Woodford is on the 15-day IL. (Updated May 21)

Check back in to this afternoon and evening for coverage of the game.

2023-05-26 19:45:00