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Hicks duels the new king of Queens, Scherzer, and Donovan gets a run at leadoff, second base

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Cardinals look to split series against D-backs

St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jordan Hicks watches Arizona Diamondbacks runner Daulton Varsho at first base in the first inning at Busch Stadium on Sunday, May 1, 2022. Photo by Robert Cohen, rcohen@post-dispatch.com

NEW YORK — Fresh off a doubleheader when he played every inning, tripled, and took a pitch off the leg, Tommy Edman had some lingering soreness in his left calf muscle when he woke up Wednesday.

The Cardinals believe their switch-hitting leadoff hitter will be able to take an at-bat later in the game, if needed, or play the field if the good-hands squad closes out the game.

But, with Edman on the mend, they had a replacement already in mind.

Brendan Donovan takes over at leadoff and second base after also playing every inning of Tuesday's split doubleheader. Donovan started the first game at shortstop, the second game at third base, and in the mix of it all drew a key walk in the ninth inning to eventually score the winning run in Game 2. Donovan stole second, got to third on a passed ball, and came home on an infield single.

Manager Oliver Marmol mentioned the walk Donovan snagged from a lefty as particularly key to the win and impressive for the rookie.

Donovan's milestone week continues.

Engaged Monday in Times Square to his longtime girlfriend. Start twice in Tuesday's doubleheader. Draws a leadoff start against Max Scherzer.

The left-handed hitting infielders performance since promotion has been hard to ignore but easy for Marmol to write into the lineup, the manager said.

Jordan Hicks makes his sixth start of the season and the last start where he'll be trying to build arm strength. Hicks could go as far as 90 pitches in the night game at Citi Field, and that means his next time will be the first time this season he'll start without the goal of building arm strength, without the limits of a pitch count.

How many pitches he throws won't determine his exit.

How he pitches will be the call, the Cardinals hope.

The Mets have lost the past two games Scherzer started after the right-hander went more than a year without his team losing a game he started. Scherzer overwhelmed the Cardinals earlier this season at Busch Stadium. He struck out 10 and held the Cardinals to two hits during seven scoreless innings.

Since, he's allowed 18 hits and eight runs through 19 innings in three starts.

Also of note: Jose Oquendo has joined the Cardinals to serve as third-base coach while Ron "Pop" Warner attends a graduation.

CARDINALS

1. Brendan Donovan, 2B

2. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B

3. Nolan Arenado, 3B

4. Juan Yepez, RF

5. Corey Dickerson, LF

6. Dylan Carlson, CF

7. Albert Pujols, DH

8. Yadier Molina, C

9. Edmundo Sosa, SS

Pitcher: Jordan Hicks, RHP

METS

1. Brandon Nimmo, CF

2. Mark Canha, RF

3. Francisco Lindor, SS

4. Pete Alonso, 1B

5. Jeff McNeil, LF

6. Eduardo Escobar, 3B

7. Dominic Smith, DH

8. Luis Guillorme, 2B

9. Patrick Mazeika, C

Pitcher: Max Scherzer, RHP

Check back this evening for immediate coverage of the Cardinals game against the Mets. There will be full, expanded coverage in the pages of Thursday's Post-Dispatch and online here at StlToday.com.

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