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Tony La Russa's Cardinals teams were 51-21 against the Chicago Cubs at the Busch Stadium that just closed. Now, the Cubs will try at a new Busch on Friday night in the start of a three-game series.

But, perhaps the worm already has turned. The Cubs won five of eight games here last year and have beaten the Cardinals 13 times in 19 games overall in the last two years.

La Russa says those statistics don't mean anything.

"Absolutely nothing," said La Russa. "Just like when they beat us in the season series last year, just like when they beat us a couple of weeks ago. It means nothing.

"What it means is that it's a brand-new three-game series and whoever plays the best wins. They played better than we did last year (the Cubs were 5-3 against the Cardinals at home, too). Over time, we had some good series at home against them. It means nothing. It's all about what's ahead this weekend."

NOTES, QUOTES

--C Yadier Molina has dipped to .180 after going 0-for-10 at Pittsburgh.

--1B Albert Pujols' next hit will be the 1,000th of his career. He is starting his sixth season.

--The Cardinals will play their next 10 games at home to close the month. They were 4-2 in their first homestand.

--Fifteen of the 16 homers hit at Busch Stadium have come in the daytime. The Cardinals have played four day games and two night games.

--RF Juan Encarnacion stole his first base on Wednesday. He also has just one RBI.

BY THE NUMBERS: 6 -- It took a Cardinals pitcher (Mark Mulder) just six innings to hit the first homer by a Cardinals pitcher at Busch Stadium. In the previous Busch Stadium, it took four years.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I stink right now." -- RHP Jason Isringhausen, after losing two games by allowing late-inning home runs.

ROSTER REPORT

MEDICAL WATCH
: 3B Scott Rolen has had no problems with his left shoulder that required two surgeries last season.

OF Larry Bigbie (stress fracture in left foot) is on an injury-rehab assignment with Triple-A Memphis.

CF Jim Edmonds (inflamed right shoulder) has returned to the lineup after missing several games.


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