Preview: Cardinals At Braves

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[May 07, 2014]  Dan Uggla returned to the Atlanta Braves lineup Tuesday, but how much longer the struggling second baseman keeps his job is in question. The Braves host St. Louis in the finale of a three-game series Wednesday after snapping a seven-game losing streak, and Uggla, who is hitting .184 on the season, could be on the verge of losing his job after going 3-for-34 with no homers or RBIs and 13 strikeouts in his past 10 games. St. Louis lost Tuesday’s middle game of the series 2-1, dropping to 2-13 when scoring fewer than three runs.

St. Louis manager Mike Matheny continues juggling his lineup in an effort to spark his offense – which is ranked 25th in the majors in runs scored. Peter Bourjos and Mark Ellis did not play in Tuesday’s loss but are expected to be in the lineup Wednesday. Uggla’s situation is far more unsettled, as the Braves may be close to turning to utility man Ramiro Pena or Triple-A second baseman Tommy La Stella.

TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, FSN Midwest (St. Louis), SportSouth (Atlanta)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Cardinals RH Adam Wainwright (5-2, 2.16 ERA) vs. Braves LH Mike Minor (0-1, 3.00)

Wainwright saw his ERA jump by nearly a full run after allowing six earned runs on 10 hits in five innings Friday against the Chicago Cubs, snapping a 25-inning scoreless streak. A first-round pick by Atlanta in the 2000 draft, Wainwright is 7-2 lifetime with a 2.80 ERA against the Braves. Wainwright won four consecutive starts before Friday’s loss, pitching seven or more innings and firing a two-hit shutout against Washington on April 17.

Minor could not have done more in his season debut Friday, save for allowing two solo homers in a 2-1 loss to San Francisco. Minor, who was sidelined for the season’s first month due to shoulder tendinitis, allowed seven hits in six innings with no walks and four strikeouts against the Giants. The 26-year-old won both starts against St. Louis in 2013, holding the Cardinals to two runs and one walk in 14 innings.


1. The Cardinals are in the midst of playing 20 of 26 games away from home; starting Monday, St. Louis will play 19 of 22 at home.

2. Uggla has just two homers, both coming April 14 at Philadelphia.

3. St. Louis C Yadier Molina went hitless Tuesday, ending his hitting streak at seven games.

PREDICTION: Braves 3, Cardinals 2

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