D'backs In St. Louis For Three Game Set

The Arizona Diamondbacks are in town for a three game set with the St. Louis Cardinals, their right-fielder, Shawn Green is coming to town with one of the hottest bats in the National League. He has hit safely in 14 of his past 15 games (27 for 58), batting .466 during that stretch with nine multi-hit games.

MLB Insiders

Thursday's rainout at PNC Park might affect the Diamondbacks' future travel plans, but it didn't upset the starting rotation schedule all that much, as manager Bob Melvin plans to keep things in order at least through the next three games in St. Louis.

Juan Cruz will start Friday's series opener at the new Busch Stadium, with Claudio Vargas and Orlando Hernandez set to follow on Saturday and Sunday. Melvin was non-committal, however, when asked how the rotation will shake out upon the Diamondbacks returning to Phoenix for a three-game series with San Diego that begins Monday at Chase Field.

Miguel Batista would fall next in line, but Melvin may be inclined to pitch Brandon Webb on his regular five-day schedule to face Chan Ho Park on Monday.

As for Cruz, who is to make his third start since coming out of the bullpen to replace Russ Ortiz in the rotation, he is 1-0 with a 2.05 ERA. He never warmed up or got loose during Thursday's rain delay, which lasted 80 minutes before the game was officially postponed.

The game will be made up on June 19 in Pittsburgh, which was a scheduled day off for Arizona following a series at Texas, just before the start of a series at Tampa Bay.



--1B Conor Jackson takes a team-high, 11-game hitting streak into Friday's game at St. Louis. He's batting .333 (16 for 48) during the streak with 10 RBIs.

--RF Shawn Green has hit safely in 14 of his past 15 games (27 for 58), batting .466 during that stretch with nine multi-hit games.

--Manager Bob Melvin on Cardinals 1B Albert Pujols: "If you're putting a video together, this is a pretty good guy to start with. ... It's pretty amazing. This guy, just when you think he's about as good as he can get, he seems to get better and better."

--RHP Orlando Hernandez is 2-4 with a 7.36 ERA, and although manager Bob Melvin indicated during spring training that he may be inclined to skip "El Duque" from occasional starts during the season, he said there are no plans to do so in the immediate future. The main reasons for doing it would be health concerns or a noticeable drop in Hernandez's velocity, but the veteran's speed has been steady and he's been reaching top velocity early in starts as opposed to later in games, when he typically tends to heat up.

--RHP Brandon Webb, who is off to a 6-0 start for the second consecutive year, can equal Randy Johnson's club record for best start from the beginning of a season. Johnson went 7-0 to start the 2000 season.


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