Cardinals-Brewers Preview

The Associated Press

After finally holding the St. Louis Cardinals' offense in check, the Milwaukee Brewers believe they can sustain some success against their division rival.

The Brewers have a chance to take their opening series with a second straight win over the reigning World Series champion Cardinals on Sunday at Miller Park.

St. Louis (2-1) totaled 29 hits while winning its first two games of the season, highlighted by a 16-hit, four-homer performance in Friday's series-opening 11-5 rout of Milwaukee. The Cardinals, however, were shut down Saturday as Zack Greinke threw seven stellar innings and the Brewers (1-1) limited them to six hits to even the set with a 6-0 victory.

The Cardinals have won 11 of 15 versus Milwaukee, including last season's NL championship series in six games. The Brewers, though, are confident they can turn things around against St. Louis if they can continue to play like they did Saturday.

"I think it was big for us to come back (Saturday) and show that we're still a good team,'' said right fielder Corey Hart, who hit a two-run homer and a solo shot. "(Sunday) will be the rubber match, but I think they know going forward, and we know going forward, they're a good team and we're a good team and it's going to be a battle all year.''

The Brewers were also aided Saturday by Ryan Braun, who returned to MVP form with a pair of doubles plays after going 0 for 5 in the opener.

Maybe more important for Milwaukee, Greinke came up with a solid start after Yovani Gallardo was rocked for six runs in 3 2-3 innings Friday.

Randy Wolf, who turns 36 in August, hopes to follow Greinke's performance with a quality effort of his own when he takes the mound after finishing 13-10 with a 3.69 ERA in 33 starts last season.

"Even when the results are good, I don't always pay attention to the results," Wolf told the Brewers' official website.

The left-hander was 4-2 with a 4.85 ERA against the Cardinals in 2011, including seven strong innings in Milwaukee's 4-2 win in Game 4 of the NLCS.

St. Louis third baseman and World Series MVP David Freese, a lifetime .350 (7 for 20) hitter versus Wolf, is 7 for 14 this season.

The Cardinals hand the ball to Lance Lynn, who was expected to pitch out of the bullpen but instead will make his third career start Sunday in place of the injured Chris Carpenter.

The 24-year-old right-hander went 1-1 with a 3.12 ERA in 18 appearances - two starts - as a rookie in 2011. He also went 2-0 with a 3.27 ERA in 10 postseason relief appearances.

"You always want to have that opportunity to be a starter, long-term," Lynn told the Cardinals' official website. "But the way I see it is, wherever they want me to pitch, whatever is going to make me successful and win a lot of games, it doesn't really matter where it's at."

Lynn is making his first start against the Brewers. He went 1-0 and threw eight scoreless innings over seven relief appearances, including the NLCS, versus Milwaukee last season.

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