Wainwright gets plenty of rest between openers
ST. LOUIS (AP) At least the first time through the rotation, the St. Louis Cardinals stuck to the plan of giving their pitchers extra rest.
Adam Wainwright starts Monday's home opener against the Milwaukee Brewers with seven days' rest since pitching six scoreless innings in an opening-night win at the Chicago Cubs.
The 33-year-old right-hander pitched 243 innings last year, including the postseason, after throwing 276 2-3 in 2013, then St. Louis lost to Boston in the World Series.
Wainwright had minor elbow surgery after the season. He' is 12-7 with a 2.31 career ERA against Milwaukee, and was 3-1 last season.
Wainwright (1-0) opposes Matt Garza (0-1), who was 0-2 in three starts against St. Louis last year.
There will be a memorial tribute to Oscar Taveras, the promising rookie who died along with his girlfriend in a car accident during the offseason.
The team's Hall of Famers and the current roster will arrive on a motorcade around the warning track, and the Budweiser Clydesdales also will also make an appearance. Stars of the Whiteyball era will be on opposite ends of the first pitch, with Willie McGee throwing to Ozzie Smith.
Manager Mike Matheny is having players come in earlier than usual for the 3 p.m. CDT start so veterans can discuss expectations for the day with younger players.
''Opening day in St. Louis is like a holiday,'' Matheny said.
LONG TIME GONE
Since they opened on the road, the Cardinals will be taking the field at Busch Stadium for the first time since the NL Championship Series.
''I can't speak for everyone but I'm anxious to go home,'' Matheny said. ''We started off in two cities (Chicago and Cincinnati) that don't like us, and now we go home to a city that loves us. I can't wait.''
BUSINESS AS USUAL
Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy said the pomp and circumstance won't change the pre-game routine. There will be plenty of time for meetings, video room work and scouting reports.
''The biggest thing is just keeping it simple,'' Lucroy said. ''You want the pitcher to basically use your strengths as much as you can.''
NL CENTRAL TOUR
The Brewers will be starting a 22-game stretch against division rivals. Manager Ron Roenicke said it shouldn't change the approach.
''We want to win, we don't care who it's against,'' Roenicke said. ''It's more about just getting going the right way and we need to do a better job of that.''