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New York sweep of mind: Lester, Cardinals look to set pace in wild-card race, dust off Mets

New York sweep of mind: Lester, Cardinals look to set pace in wild-card race, dust off Mets

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Cardinals host Cubs in second game of Busch series

St. Louis Cardinals Yadier Molina celebrates with Harrison Bader after Molina hit a solo home run in the seventh inning against Chicago Cubs pitcher Adbert Alzolay at Busch Stadium on Saturday, May 22, 2021. Photo by Robert Cohen, rcohen@post-dispatch.com

NEW YORK — While Jon Lester played catch in the outfield before ducking into the bullpen for his formal warmup off the mound, Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina emerged from the dugout at Citi Field for one of his final times.

On his back was a number that was not his.

His jersey had no name.

For Roberto Clemente Day around baseball and the evening to honor the late Hall of Famer and his humanitarian work, Molina is one of the many players who elected to wear Clemente's No. 21. He is doing so with out a name on the back of his jersey. 

New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso, the Clemente Award nominee for the Mets, is also one of the players wearing No. 21. On the Cardinals side of the field, reliever Kodi Whitley took the field for the National Anthem wearing a No. 21 jersey. Paul Goldschmidt, the team's Clemente nominee this season, wore black and gold batting gloves in his first at-bat. Adam Wainwright, a former Clemente Award winner like Molina, is also possibly going to wear No. 21, but the team said it was unsure if his jersey with that number would be available in time for the game.

The Cardinals have won six of their past seven games and have already claimed their second consecutive series win. This visit to Queens is effectively the start of a four-city road trip with a pitstop this weekend in St. Louis to face the Padres, and the Cardinals have already assured that they'll return for the home series in control of their playoff chances.

They start the day with a 1/2 game lead on Cincinnati and a full game on San Diego.

Lester will make his ninth start for the Cardinals and his sixth career start at Citi Field. He's 3-1 in those starts with a 3.18 ERA. He's averaged slightly less than six innings in those starts and struck out 30 in 28 1/3 innings. Opposite Lester, the Mets have righthander Tylor Megill set to start. The rookie righthander is 3-4 with a 4.06 ERA in 15 starts for the Mets. He's coming off a 10-strikeout performance in seven innings against the Yankees. He got the win.

Here are the lineups:

CARDINALS

1. Tommy Edman, 2B

2. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B

3. Tyler O'Neill, LF

4. Nolan Arenado, 3B

5. Yadier Molina, C

6. Dylan Carlson, RF

7. Edmundo Sosa, SS

8. Harrison Bader, CF

9. Jon Lester, LHP

METS

1. Jonathan Villar, 3B

2. Francisco Lindor, SS

3. Javier Baez, 2B

4. Pete Alonso, 1B

5. Michael Conforto, RF

6. Kevin Pillar, CF

7. James McCann, C

8. Jeff McNeil, LF

9. Tylor Megill, RHP

Check back throughout the evening here for more information from Citi Field and all the coverage of the Cardinals visit to the Mets' ballpark. There will be expanded coverage in the pages of the Post-Dispatch and immediate coverage on StlToday.com.

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