St. Louis Cardinals’ Top Third of Lineup is Set

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While the St. Louis Cardinals fell 7-6 in a loss to the Houston Astros on Tuesday, the top third of their batting lineup appears to be set for now.

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In the last four of six games, Mike Matheny has penciled in third baseman Matt Carpenter, right fielder Jason Heyward, and left fielder Matt Holliday for the top three slots of the lineup. Unless one of those were to get a day off against the Atlanta Braves, there’s no reason to believe it will be any different this afternoon.

“We didn’t make too many questions about that potentially being a nice fit when we first got Jason,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said according to MLB.com’s Jennifer Langosch. “It’s where he feels comfortable. I’ve been very clear this is probably not a time to mess around with Carp. I think between [Holliday] and Jason and Matt Adams and [Jhonny] Peralta, there is an ability to fool around with that a little bit. For right now, it’s a nice fit to get guys a little bit comfortable. It seems to be working.”

Carpenter took over the lead-off hole from Jon Jay during the 2013 season while Holliday replaced Albert Pujols in the 3-hole to begin the 2012 season.

Carlos Martinez started the game against the Houston Astros, allowing one run on three hits in 2.2 innings pitched. The pitcher struck out three but walked none. He’s carrying a 1.93 ERA this spring.

Meanwhile, second baseman Jacob Wilson went 3-for-4 at the plate. He was a triple shy of hitting for the cycle. His home run came in the ninth inning but it wasn’t enough for the Cardinals.

“He’s done a nice job defensively, and offensively it’s pretty easy to see that he’s got a nice approach,” Matheny said according to Fox Sports’ Stan McNeal. “Coaching staff has talked from Day One he was a guy that really looked strong, nice solid consistent swing. He really knows his swing, too. He spends a lot of time talking about the mental side of the game and his approach. Pretty mature hitter.”

McNeal also lets us know when Pat Neshek knew he would not be returning.

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