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Mother Nature forces Cardinals, Giants postponement

The SportsXchange

ST. LOUIS -- San Francisco outfielder Angel Pagan was scheduled to miss his sixth straight game Friday night with a strained left hamstring.

Turned out everyone else got the night off as well.

With thunderstorms and tornadoes terrorizing the area west of Busch Stadium, St. Louis postponed the game before the first drop of rain hit the field.

The Cardinals' overworked grounds crew, which had to whip the saturated surface into playing shape after heavy storms late Thursday night and early Friday morning caused a 4-hour, 32-minute delay in the ninth inning of Kansas City's 4-2 win, covered the infield just before the 7:15 start time.

After a delay of around 40 minutes, the game was postponed and rescheduled as part of a day-night doubleheader Saturday, beginning at 12:15 p.m.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Pagan, who was injured on May 25 in a 6-5, 10-inning win over Colorado, could start Game 1 of the twinbill.

"I'd say right now, I'd put it 50-50 for (Saturday)," Bochy said after the postponement. "He still feels a little soreness in there, so if not tomorrow, then maybe Sunday."

If Pagan can't go, Andres Thomas, Gregor Blanco and Hunter Pence will likely start both games of the doubleheader. As of late Friday night, there was a 60 percent chance of thunderstorms during the day on Saturday, although rain chances were just 20 percent for a nationally-televised 6:15 start at night.

Friday night's scheduled starters -- Matt Cain for San Francisco, Shelby Miller for St. Louis -- will work the opener. The night game will feature Madison Bumgarner for the Giants and Adam Wainwright for the Cardinals.

For St. Louis, the rainout provided its frontline bullpen guys, closer Edward Mujica and setup man Trevor Rosenthal, with a second straight day off. On the other hand, it will likely force manager Mike Matheny to find a spot starter for Wednesday's game against Arizona.

Overshadowed by the bizarre circumstances of the loss to Kansas City was the outstanding big-league debut of Michael Wacha. The Cardinals' first-round pick in last year's amateur draft, Wacha allowed just two hits and a run over seven innings, and was in line for the win before the bullpen hacked up three runs in the ninth.

"It's a shame what he did will fall on the back page," Matheny said of Wacha. "He lived with his fastball and changeup. I thought he had a great demeanor and a good approach. He was terrific."

NOTES: St. Louis optioned struggling reliever Mitchell Boggs to Memphis of the Pacific Coast League on Friday and recalled right-handed pitcher Keith Butler from Springfield of the Texas League. Boggs gave up two runs in the ninth inning Thursday night of a 4-2 loss to Kansas City and is 0-3 with an 11.05 earned run average in 18 appearances. ... Butler allowed just one run over 13 appearances, covering 13 2/3 innings, and struck out 21 in Class AA against just two walks. ... Bochy said that Chad Gaudin, who's 0-1 with a 2.05 ERA in 18 relief outings, would draw the start in Sunday's series finale.
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