5 things you need to know before Miller's first pitch

(KSDK Sports) -- Shelby Miller will try to secure the series victory tonight for the Cardinals, but has lost his first two outings of 2014. St. Louis has been outscored 16-2 in those games.

Here's what you need to know before Miller's first pitch:

❑ ELLIS JOINS CLUB: Infielder Mark Ellis was reinstated from a rehab assignment at Triple‐A Memphis and activated from the 15‐day disabled list prior to tonight's game...Ellis missed the first 13 games of the season with left knee tendinitis and went 1‐3 while playing five innings on Sunday with Memphis. Ellis was signed by St. Louis to a one‐year free‐agent contract on 12/16/13...shortstop Pete Kozma was optioned to Memphis to make room on the 25‐man roster.

❑ TAX DAY: April 15 has proven to be a good day for the Cardinals over the last 10 seasons...St. Louis is 8‐1 since 2004 (no game in '04) when playing on Tax Day, and in five of those wins the team has scored 10 or more runs (the other 3 wins scoring 9, 6 and 3 runs)...the last three seasons the Cardinals have outscored their opponent 31‐14 (10‐6 at PIT '13; 10‐6 vs. CHI '12; 11‐2 at LAD '11)...the club has faced MIL three times in that stretch: winning 6‐1 in 2008, 10‐2 in '07 and 3‐0 in '05 (at Miller Park)...the other seasons gave them a 12‐7 win at ARI in '09, a 9‐3 win vs. CIN in '06 and the only loss during that stretch in 2010 vs. HOU (5‐1). See "This Date in History" sidebar for more info.

❑ 20‐for‐20: The Cardinals began a stretch of 20 games in 20 days last Friday (4/11) and a stretch of 26 games in 27 days with the lone open date on Thursday, May 1. READING THE ROAD MAP: The Cardinals were 14‐5 (8‐2 at Miller Park) last season...they went 6‐0 (3‐0 at Nationals Park) against Washington and 5‐2 (2‐1 at Citi Field) against the NY Mets.

Matt Adams wrapped out three hits yesterday to increase his batting avg. to .360, good enough for 7th in the N.L. ...his team‐high 7 multi‐hit games are T3rd in the League, one off league leaders as is his team‐high 6 doubles (T4th N.L.)...Adams ranks 1st on the team with 18 hits.

❑ LEADING OFF RIGHT: Third baseman Matt Carpenter picked up 3RBI Sunday vs. CHI to give him nine on the season ‐ T2nd in the Majors...his 10 walks are tied for the top spot among leadoff men. WALK THIS WAY: Matt Carpenter leads the Cardinals with 10 walks while Matt Holliday is close behind with nine...the team's 44 walks are 4th most in the N.L. to start the season


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