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Wainwright rejoins Cardinals, Sosa activated from IL; lefty Matz starting on mound in series finale against Orioles

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Cardinals begin four-game series with Diamondbacks

St. Louis Cardinal infielder Edmundo Sosa strikes out in the eighth inning on Thursday, April 28, 2022, during a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Mo. Photo by Christian Gooden, cgooden@post-dispatch.com

Starter Adam Wainwright rejoined the Cardinals, while shortstop Edmundo Sosa was activated from the injured list on Thursday ahead of the club's series finale against the Orioles.

Wainwright was placed on the COVID IL on May 6 during the Cardinals' road trip to San Francisco. The veteran ace threw a bullpen session on Thursday and it is possible that he makes his return to the mound at home for a Sunday Night Baseball matchup against the Giants.

Sosa was placed on the 10-day IL on May 3 with no designation, and recently completed a rehab assignment with Class AA Springfield where he went 3-for-8 in two games with the S-Cards.

With Sosa’s return, he is set to get “a real shot” at becoming the Cardinals regular starting shortstop after Paul DeJong was optioned to Class AAA Memphis following his struggles at the plate, manager Oliver Marmol said on Tuesday.

In 10 games this season, Sosa is batting .160 (4-for-25) and struck out 12 times. A season ago, Sosa appeared in 71 games as the Cardinals’ shortstop — 59 of which he started in — and slashed .271/.346/.389 with six homers and 27 RBIs in 113 games.

Rookie infielder Kramer Robertson was optioned to Class AAA Memphis in a corresponding move. Robertson appeared in two games after getting called up on May 10. He made his major-league debut as a pinch runner on Tuesday night and drove in his first RBI when he hit into a ground out that allowed Brendan Donovan score in the eighth inning of the Cardinals’ 10-1 win on Wednesday.

Matz gets start versus Baltimore

Steven Matz will take the mound in the series finale against Baltimore for his seventh start of the season after righty Jordan Hicks was originally slated to start on Thursday.

The reasoning behind the move is to have Matz avoid pitching against the Giants for a second time. He threw against them on May 7 in San Francisco where he lasted just two innings and gave up eight runs on five hits, which included three home runs.

Matz is 3-2 with a 7.01 ERA in 25 2/3 innings this season. He will oppose Orioles righty Bryan Baker who will make his first career start as the Orioles go with a bullpen game.

The Cardinals lineup for the series finale will feature hot-hitting rookie Juan Yepez starting in right field and the return to the lineup for left fielder Tyler O'Neill who was given Wednesday off as he struggles at the plate to begin the 2022 season. 

O'Neill's average dipped to .198 after an 0-for-4 performance on Tuesday. 

With center fielder Harrison Bader and catcher Yadier Molina getting the day off, Dylan Carlson will slide over from his regular right field to start at center, while Andrew Knizner will be the starting catcher for St. Louis on Thursday.

Here are the lineups for the Cardinals series finale against the Orioles:

CARDINALS

1. Tommy Edman, 2B

2. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B

3. Nolan Arenado, 3B

4. Juan Yepez, RF 

5. Albert Pujols, DH

6. Tyler O'Neill, LF

7. Dylan Carlson, CF

8. Andrew Knizner, C

9. Brendan Donovan, SS

P: Steven Matz, LHP

ORIOLES

1. Cedric Mullins, CF

2. Austin Hays, RF

3. Trey Mancini, 1B

4. Anthony Santander, DH

5. Tyler Nevin, LF

6. Jorge Mateo, SS

7. Rylan Bannon, 3B

8. Anthony Bemboom, C

9. Chris Owings, 2B

P: Bryan Baker, RHP

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