Giants-Cardinals Preview

In what’s fast becoming an everyday occurrence, the St. Louis
Cardinals are adding to a crowded disabled list.

Having already lost pitcher Kyle McClellan, the Cardinals are
expected to put slugger Matt Holliday on the 15-day DL before
looking to split a four-game set with the San Francisco Giants on
Thursday.

Holliday, who leads the NL with a .342 average, will be
sidelined with a injured quadriceps. He returned from a week-long
absence and went 1 for 4 in Monday’s 7-3 loss to the Giants, but
was a pinch-hitter in a 4-3 win Tuesday.

Allen Craig and Jon Jay should get the bulk of the playing time
in left field during Holliday’s absence. Craig is hitting .337 with
four homers and 21 RBIs, while Jay is batting .342 with four homers
and 14 RBIs.

Lance Berkman likely will bat fourth in place of Holliday
despite an 0-for-12 slump that’s dropped his average to .329.

McClellan, a converted reliever who’s second on the Cardinals
with six wins, was put on the DL Wednesday, two days after
straining a hip flexor.

“At some point we were going to have to probably slow him down
anyway, and this is just a nice opportunity to do that,” general
manager John Mozeliak said.

St. Louis also is without catcher Gerald Laird (finger) and
infielder Nick Punto (arm). Ace Adam Wainwright is lost for the
season after elbow surgery.

Lance Lynn will make his major league debut for the NL
Central-leading Cardinals (33-24) in the finale. The right-hander
was 5-3 with a 4.06 ERA in 10 starts at Triple-A Memphis and a
13-game winner last season for the Redbirds.

San Francisco’s Jonathan Sanchez (3-3, 3.38 ERA) will be in
search of his first win in three weeks. The right-hander is 0-1
with 2.70 ERA in three starts since beating Arizona on April
11.

Facing Milwaukee on Saturday, Sanchez allowed two runs and two
hits with four walks over seven innings, but the Giants fell 3-2 on
a suicide squeeze in the ninth.

Sanchez has had trouble locating the strike zone on the road,
where he’s issued 23 of his 34 walks.

He won his only career start against the Cardinals at Busch
Stadium, allowing two hits with four walks and five strikeouts in
five scoreless innings of the Giants’ 8-2 victory on April 20,
2008.

He failed to register a decision in his home debut against the
Cardinals. Sanchez yielded one run and four hits over five innings
as the Giants went on to a 5-4 win in 12 on April 8.

After the teams split the first two games, Nate Schierholtz made
the difference in San Francisco’s 7-5, 11-inning win Wednesday.

His RBI single with two outs in the ninth made it 5-all. With
one out in the 11th, Schierholtz drove in Freddy Sanchez with the
go-ahead run and later scored on rookie Brandon Crawford’s
single.

”His playing time has increased and it will now with the game
he had and the way he’s been playing,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy
said of Schierholtz.

With two outs in the bottom of the inning, the game was delayed
16 minutes after two light standards failed. When play resumed,
Brian Wilson needed one pitch to get Craig to ground out and notch
his 15th save.

Schierholtz tied a season high with three hits, and Cody Ross
had third four-hit game this season for the Giants.

Craig’s two-run homer in the seventh inning off a struggling Tim
Lincecum gave St. Louis a 5-4 lead. Jay struck out three times.