Cardinals could be without Yadi against Brewers

Even if Yadier Molina doesn't drop the appeal, it appears he'll get the game off.
Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Hoping for no news from Major League Baseball as a result of Sunday’s dustup between All-Star catcher Yadier Molina and Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo, the St. Louis Cardinals instead found out Tuesday that Molina drew a one-game suspension.

Molina appealed the suspension and played in a 5-3, 11-inning victory over the Milwaukee Brewers, but there’s a good chance that he’ll drop the appeal and sit out for Wednesday’s series and homestand finale in Busch Stadium.

“Francisco is going to get his opportunity here real soon,” St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said to of backup Francisco Pena.

Even if Molina doesn’t drop the appeal, it appears he’ll get the game off. He’s started each of the first 11 games, and took a foul tip off the left shoulder in the 11th inning Tuesday night. So if for nothing else other than maintenance reasons, Molina might go ahead and take his suspension.

While that would leave the Cardinals a man short for the day, as teams aren’t allowed to replace players on suspension, they should have momentum on their side. They rallied in the ninth and 10th inning to drag the game into the 11th, when Matt Carpenter clubbed a walkoff two-run homer to end a 4-hour, 2-minute marathon.

St. Louis (5-6) will try to win the series behind veteran right-hander Adam Wainwright (0-1, 7.36), who struggled to put away hitters in a 3-1 loss Thursday night to Arizona. Wainwright threw 92 pitches over 3 2/3 innings, allowing four hits and three runs with four walks and three strikeouts.

In his career against Milwaukee, Wainwright is 15-8 with a 2.31 ERA in 37 outings (30 starts). He faced the Brewers twice last year, going 1-0 with a 5.40 ERA in two starts and recording 13 strikeouts in 10 innings.

Milwaukee will call up Junior Guerra from Triple-A Colorado Springs to make the start. Guerra, who was the Brewers’ Opening Day starter last year before injuries derailed his season, fanned six and gave up only two hits over 5 2/3 innings to earn a win in his only Triple-A outing this year.

“We think Junior had a really good camp, had a great first start in Colorado Springs,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said to “So I’m excited to see him start tomorrow and feel like he’s one of our guys.”

Guerra has made four starts in his career against the Cardinals, going 1-2 with a 5.59 ERA. In his only appearance against them last year, he was touched for three runs on two hits and two walks in a no-decision.

The Brewers could use some length from Guerra. Their bullpen has covered 10 innings in the first two games of the series, and is already short-handed with closer Corey Knebel on the shelf with a hamstring injury.

Milwaukee might play again without center fielder Lorenzo Cain, who injured his left quad in a ninth inning collision Monday night with St. Louis first baseman Jose Martinez. Cain was in the on-deck circle to pinch-hit if needed in the 11th inning, but the team could choose to give him another day off in hopes he’ll be ready to play by the opener of their series Friday night at the New York Mets.