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First Pitch: Albert Pujols starts at first base in series finale against Cincinnati

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In today’s 10 a.m. video, columnist Ben Hochman discusses the Cardinals’ legendary duo of Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright on the day of their record-breaking 325th start together. And, as always, Hochman picks a random St. Louis Cards card from the hat. Ten Hochman is presented by Window Nation!

First Pitch is scheduled for 1:15 p.m. at Busch Stadium.

Albert Pujols is in the lineup for the Cardinals today as the look to close the series and season on the Cincinnati Reds. With only four home games left this season, this is one of the last opportunities for the right-handed slugger to add to his home run total in front of his home fans. 

Pujols will hit third and play first base. Paul Goldschmidt will get the day off, and Nolan Arenado will serve as the DH for the second game in a row.

Today is also Pujols bobblehead day; the bobblehead is the first of three figures depicting Pujols, Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina, that connect with each other.  

The Cardinals are giving some of their marquee players a day off today, doubling up on the off day tomorrow to give extra rest to those who need it. Beside Goldschmidt, Tommy Edman will get the day off. Paul DeJong and Nolan Gorman, who have both seen struggles at the plate, will man the middle infield. 

The Cardinals got superb performances out of their pitching staff yesterday, allowing 0 earned runs over 20 innings. After eight-inning starts from Dakota Hudson and Jose Quintana, the bullpen will be rested and ready to be used with another off day tomorrow. 

Lineups

CARDINALS (87-60)

1. Brendan Donovan, 3B

2. Corey Dickerson, LF

3. Albert Pujols, 3B

4. Nolan Arenado, DH

5. Alec Burleson, RF

6. Lars Nootbaar, CF

7. Yadier Molina, C

8. Nolan Gorman, 2B

9. Paul DeJong, SS

P: Jordan Montgomery, LHP

REDS (57-89)

1. Jonathan India, DH

2. Spencer Steer, 1B

3. Kyle Farmer, 3B

4. Aristides Aquino, RF 

5. Nick Senzel, CF

6. Stuart Fairchild, LF

7. Matt Reynolds, 2B

8. Jose Barrero, SS

9. Chuckie Robinson, C

P: RHP Luis Cessa

Pitching Matchup

LHP Jordan Montgomery (8-3, 3.08 ERA): In his last start the Cardinals lost for the first time since the lefty was acquired at the trade deadline. Since becoming a Cardinal Montgomery has utilized his fast ball to much higher effect, marking a significant change in his pitch utilization.

RHP Luis Cessa (3-3, 5.25 ERA): Pitching in his seventh MLB season, Cessa has been mostly used as a relief pitcher. Of his 197 career appearances, only 25 have been starts. He has seen some success though since the Reds converted him to the starting rotation in late August, throwing more innings each time out over the five starts he's been given, building from two innings, to 5⅔ in his last appearance. 

Wild Cards

  • The Cardinals love their home cooking. At Busch Stadium this season St. Louis has won 51 games, the most in the majors. 51 would be 19th most in team history and most since 2015. If the Cardinals were to win each of their remaining four regular season home games, the Cardinals would tie their franchise record for third most home wins in a season, and the most since baseball's integration in 1947.

  • St. Louis earned their 14th doubleheader sweep since 2000 yesterday, and first over the Reds since 2019, which also happens to be last time Cincinnati and St. Louis played a nine inning doubleheader.

Injury Report 

  • Tyler O'Neill has been placed on the 10-day IL with a left hamstring strain.
  • RHP Drew VerHagen (hip) and RHP Alex Reyes (shoulder) underwent season-ending surgeries. Both right-handed pitchers are expected to be ready for spring training after a winter of recovery. (Updated Aug. 20)

Up Next

The Cardinals close their series against the Reds today before jetting west for a road trip to Los Angeles and San Diego.  

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 Sunday night, and also in the pages of Monday's Post-Dispatch. 

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