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First Pitch: Tyler O’Neill sits as Cardinals look to avoid a sweep

First pitch is scheduled for 12:15 p.m. at Busch Stadium. 

Despite morning storms, the Cardinals hope to play this afternoon’s scheduled game and also to avoid a series sweep. Miles Mikolas is set to take the mound for the Cardinals and looks to rebound from his first appearance in the season opener. 

After being questioned by his manager for not hustling on a play at the plate, outfielder Tyler O’Neill will get his first day off of the season, making way for Dylan Carlson to get his first start at center field this season. O’Neill has played in all five games this season, though manager Oliver Marmol has had a history of benching players for effort-related concerns.

O’Neill has been reliable at the plate and field this season, hitting .308 with no errors. Dylan Carlson has three hits in six at-bats against right-handed pitchers this season. 

With a right-hander back on the mound for the Atlanta Braves, infielders Brendan Donovan and Nolan Gorman return to the starting lineup. Donovan will lead off and play second base, and Gorman will hit fifth as the designated hitter. 

As usual for catchers facing a day game after a night one, Willson Contreras has the day off, and backup Andrew Knizner will start. Knizner has caught Mikolas 30 times before, and that battery is one that Marmol expects to utilize throughout this season to score Contreras scheduled breathers.

Lineups

CARDINALS (2-3) 

1. Brendan Donovan, 2B

2. Alec Burleson, LF

3. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B

4. Nolan Arenado, 3B

5. Nolan Gorman, DH

6. Dylan Carlson, CF

7. Jordan Walker, RF

8. Tommy Edman, SS

9. Andrew Knizner, C

P: Miles Mikolas, RHP

Atlanta Braves (4-1)

1. Ronald Acuna Jr., RF

2. Matt Olson, 1B

3. Austin Riley, 3B

4. Travis D’Arnaud, C

5. Michael Harris, CF

6. Ozzie Albies, 2B

7. Marcell Ozuna, DH

8. Eddie Rosario, LF

9. Orlando Arcia, SS

P: Bryce Elder, RHP

Pitching matchup

RHP Miles Mikolas (0-0, 13.50 ERA): In four career starts against the Braves, Mikolas is 1-3 with a 3.04 ERA. 

RHP Bryce Elder: For the second game in a row, the Cardinals face a pitcher they have never seen before. Elder made his major league debut last season and had spectacular September, pitching his first complete game shutout in his eighth career start. Elder was ranked the Braves 15th best prospect after being drafted in the fifth round out of the University of Texas-Austin. 

Injury report 

  • Lars Nootbaar (thumb) went on the IL with a left thumb contusion prior to Monday night’s game. He jammed the thumb sliding into third base in Thursday’s opener, and hasn’t played since that game. His IL stint is retroactive to March 31. Updated April 4
  • Adam Wainwright (groin) will throw a bullpen session Thursday, the Cardinals’ off day. How he recovers from the more intensive workout will determine if his next time off the mound will be against hitters, possibly in a rehab assignment. Updated April 5.
  • Paul DeJong (back stiffness) will begin a rehab assignment Thursday with Class A Palm Beach. The goal will be to get in the field, get comfortable fielding groundballs, and also use the time to show performance at the plate to merit promotion. Updated April 5.
  • Wilking Rodriguez (shoulder) has started progressing in his throwing program. The Cardinals wanted to see how his arm responds to intensifying work. He’s slated to resume work off the mound in the coming days. Updated April 3.

Future probable starters

Wednesday vs. Atlanta: RHP Miles Mikolas vs. RHP Bryce Elder

Friday at Milwaukee: Jack Flaherty (1-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Brandon Woodruff (0-0, 1.50 ERA) 

Saturday vs. Milwaukee: Jordan Montgomery (1-0, 5.40 ERA) vs. Eric Lauer (1-0, 3.38 ERA) 

Sunday vs Milwaukee: Jake Woodford (0-1, 12.46 ERA) vs Freddy Peralta (1-0, 0.00 ERA) 

Up next

The Cardinals take Thursday off to travel north to play their first road games of the 2023 season, visiting Milwaukee for a weekend series. 

Check back here throughout the afternoon and evening for immediate coverage of the game and any news that surfaces from the Cardinals’ pre-game activities. We will publish expanded game coverage online later Wednesday, and also in the pages of Thursday’s Post-Dispatch. 

Carter Chapley

@ChapleyMedia on Twitter

CChapley@post-dispatch.com

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