Final Busch Stadium Home Opener

<p> Philadelphia (1-2) at St. Louis (1-1), 3:15 p.m. CDT, Friday. <p> It's LHP Mark Mulder for St. Louis, (0-0),17-8, 4.43 ERA in 2004 facing the Phillies' RHP Cory Lidle (0-0), 12-12, 4.90 ERA in 2004

Mark Mulder will make his first start and first appearance at Busch stadium as the Cardinals play their home opener and the first game of a three game, weekend series with the Philadelphia Phillies.

``It's going to be fun,'' said Mulder, whom the Cardinals acquired in a December trade with Oakland. ``The place is going to be packed with red and white and it's going to be a good time.''

Mulder led the major leagues with 17 victories in mid-July last season before finishing 0-4 with a 7.27 ERA in his last seven starts.

Mulder was 2-2, 3.60 ERA in six spring starts and he made a final exhibition tune-up last Sun. at Springfield, MO going 6.0 IP...he will be making his 2nd career start (0-1, 6.00 ERA) vs. Philly and his 1st career appearance at Busch Stadium...was 17-8, 4.43 for Oakland last year...was dealt to Cardinals on 12/18/04 for RHP Dan Haren, RHP Kiko Calero and C Daric Barton.

Mulder said he's not worried about switching leagues and facing new hitters because a strong spring bolstered his confidence.

``I feel great going into the season,'' Mulder said. ``I've never had great springs but I've felt each one of my starts this year got a little bit better, and I'm confident going out there.''

This will be the final home opener at Busch Stadium, as the Cardinals will move across the street to a new and improve 46,000-seat Busch Stadium in 2006.

After winning their season opener, the Cardinals suffered a 4-1 loss to Andy Pettitte and the Houston Astros on Wednesday to even their record at 1-1 for the season.

The Phillies, meanwhile, are coming off back-to-back losses to the Washington Nationals.

Weekend Series at a Glance

Philadelphia at St. Louis Sat, Apr 9 - 1:15 pm CDT - G. Floyd vs. J. Suppan

Philadelphia at St. Louis Sun, Apr 10 - 1:15 pm CDT - J. Lieber vs. C. Carpenter

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