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With Cards' right fielders hitless, Carpenter goes to second and Edman to right

With Cards' right fielders hitless, Carpenter goes to second and Edman to right

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Cardinals Marlins Spring Baseball

The Cardinals' Matt Carpenter, who is one for 29 with 13 strikeouts this spring, takes his equipment to the dugout before Monday's game.

MIAMI—The Cardinals have made a significant lineup change for Tuesday’s second game of a series with the Miami Marlins. Matt Carpenter will be at second base and Tommy Edman is in right field, returning to his big-league roots as a utility player.

This mean that neither Justin Williams nor Austin Dean is in the lineup against hard-throwing righthander Miami ace Sandy Alcantara, a former Cardinals prospect. The primary reason is that neither of the right fielders has even been on base in the first four games of the season, with Williams nothing for nine with five strikeouts and Dean nothing for six with four strikeouts, three coming when he gained a start on Monday.

Manager Mike Shildt added that Carpenter is more likely to hit a fly ball against the ground-ball-seeking Alcantara and, as a lefthanded hitter, might have more of a chance than a righthanded batter. Lefthanders are batting .247 against the righthander in his career while Alcantara has held righthanded batters to a .219 mark.

Carpenter is nothing for three with two strikeouts and a walk as a pinch hitter in four appearances but Shildt said, “You’ve got a guy who’s two years removed (2018) from being in an MVP discussion and he hasn’t had a start yet, so he needs to get out there and play.

“He’s earned that opportunity.”

Carpenter is hitting fifth because “it’s a position he’s somewhat familiar with hitting,” Shildt said. “It made competitive sense as well.”

Righthander John Gant is making his first start for the Cardinals since Sept. 26, 2018 when he lost to Milwaukee 2-1. He hasn’t won as a starter since he won at Detroit 5-2 on Sept. 9 of that year, going 6 2/3 innings, which would be far longer than any Cardinals starter has gone this season through four games.

He has made 28 starts in his career.

Rolen to toss to Arenado

Pre-game ceremonies for the Cardinals’ home opener at Busch Stadium on Thursday against Milwaukee will begin at 2:30 p.m. ahead of a 3:15 start.

There will be tributes to Hall of Famers Lou Brock and Bob Gibson, who died last year, and to broadcaster Mike Shannon, who is doing his 50th and final year in the booth.

A number of Cardinals Hall of Famers will be on hand, including third baseman Scott Rolen, who will toss the ceremonial first pitch to new Cardinals third baseman Nolan Arenado.

And, of course, there will be fans in the stands, an appearance by the Budweiser Clydesdales, and a motorcade of the 2021 Cardinals around the outfield track.

“Our fans are second to none,” said Shildt. “Opening day at Busch Stadium, we’re going to have a raucous crowd whatever the number ends up being. I’m excited for Nolan to get a taste of what it’s like to play in front of our fans.

“I can’t speak for him but I imagine he’ll be very excited and feel very grateful about being received like I’m sure he will be.”

Cardinals lineup

1. Tommy Edman rf

2. Paul Goldschmidt 1b

3. Nolan Arenado 3b

4. Paul DeJong ss

5. Matt Carpenter 2b

6. Yadier Molina c

7. Tyler O’Neill lf

8. Dylan Carlson cf

9. John Gant p

Rick Hummel

@cmshhummel on Twitter

rhummel@post-dispatch.com

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