The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

April 12, 2012

New look Cardinals clicking as they return home

ST. LOUIS — So far, the St. Louis Cardinals are doing just fine without Albert Pujols. And they don’t seem to miss Tony La Russa, either.

The World Series champions are off to a nice start heading into Friday’s home opener against the Chicago Cubs. During their impressive 5-2 start on the road under new manager Mike Matheny, the Cardinals have gotten plenty of clutch hitting and pitching.

The Cardinals lead the National League with a .301 average and their 12 home runs, 37 runs and .371 on-base percentage were the best in baseball through Wednesday’s games. David Freese and Rafael Furcal are hitting above .400, Kyle Lohse is 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA and Jake Westbrook didn’t allow an earned run in his first outing.

Adam Wainwright will pitch in the home opener, opposing the Cubs’ Jeff Samardzija.

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