Now that Hanley Ramirez(notes) has apologized to his teammates, the Florida Marlins believe his lack of hustle from earlier this week is behind them. Ramirez may have problems of a different kind Thursday against St. Louis Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright(notes).
Wainwright has dominated Ramirez in the past and is perfect at home this season as he looks to help the Cardinals gain a two-game split with the Marlins at Busch Stadium.
Ramirez returned to the lineup with three hits Wednesday in a 5-1 victory after he apologized individually to the Marlins (22-19) before the game. The two-time NL All-Star was yanked for not running hard after a ball he booted away from him into foul territory in Monday’s 5-1 loss to Arizona.
The shortstop initially chose not to apologize Tuesday, saying he “wasn’t trying to give up” on the ball before he criticized manager Fredi Gonzalez. Ramirez backed off that stance a day later.
“I’m happy to be in the lineup,” Ramirez said. “That’s what I like to do, play every day.”
“Now we have a good thing going here, and we don’t want any kind of distractions.”
The Marlins will try to hand Wainwright (5-2, 2.48 ERA) his first loss at home, where he’s 3-0 with a 1.96 ERA in three outings. He’s 2-1 with a 2.89 ERA in four career starts against Florida, and has limited Ramirez to two singles in 16 at-bats.
Wainwright gave up a season-high four runs over six innings Saturday in a 4-3 loss at Cincinnati.
“We didn’t give him much offensive support,” manager Tony La Russa told the Cardinals’ official website. “It’s tough to pitch without making mistakes.”
Florida will give the ball to Nate Robertson(notes) (4-3, 4.35), who will make his first start at Busch Stadium since he gave up two runs over five innings in a 5-0 loss with Detroit in Game 3 of the 2006 World Series.
Robertson has gone 1-0 with a 1.59 ERA in two starts against the Cardinals since, although Pujols is 4 for 4 with three walks against him in the regular season.
The left-hander won his second consecutive outing Saturday against New York, limiting the Mets to three runs over 5 2-3 innings in a 7-5 victory.