NEW YORK -- The St. Louis Cardinals are making their first trip to the current Yankee Stadium and will encounter a familiar face.
When the Cardinals open a three-game series with the New York Yankees on Friday night, it will be Matt Holliday's first appearance against his former team.
"It'll be a little strange. I think probably the strangest part will be facing (St. Louis right-hander Adam) Wainwright," Holliday said. "That's probably the thing that stands out as probably the thing that'll be a little awkward."
Holliday signed a one-year deal to be New York's designated hitter and is batting .276 so far. Before joining the Yankees, he spent the previous 7 1/2 seasons with St. Louis, which obtained him from the Oakland Athletics on July 24, 2009.
During 982 games for the Cardinals, Holliday batted .293 with 156 home runs and 616 RBIs. He also helped St. Louis reach the postseason seven consecutive times before the team fell short last season.
"Winning the World Series is at the top of my list," Holliday said of his tenure with St. Louis. "We were competitive every year -- if not in the playoffs, on the verge. Relationships-wise, making friends and people that I got to spend a lot of time with, lifelong friends, those are the things that stand out."
St. Louis will be making its first regular-season appearance in New York against the Yankees since the 2003 season. The teams split six games in St. Louis during the 2005 and 2014 seasons.
St. Louis will start Michael Wacha, Carlos Martinez and Wainwright in the series.
"Loved playing at the old (stadium)," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "The nostalgia. The history. It's one of those that I spent a lot of time walking around in the bleachers, around the stadium. Neat place."
Holliday's old team is off to a 3-6 start and is hitting .219. The Cardinals allowed 22 runs and 30 hits in the first two games against the Washington Nationals but rebounded with a 6-1 win Wednesday.
Stephen Piscotty hit a three-run home run and drove in five runs while Mike Leake retired 19 straight hitters and pitched seven scoreless innings.
"It is a good win. We needed that," said Piscotty, who is 5-for-13 with seven RBIs the past three games after missing two games with a sore left knee.
The Yankees are on a four-game winning streak after completing a three-game sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday. Aaron Hicks homered from both sides of the plate while Luis Severino struck out 11 in seven innings in a 3-2 win.
The first former teammate Holliday will face will be Wacha, who won his season debut Saturday by allowing one run and three hits in six innings against the Cincinnati Reds. Wacha (1-0) is coming off the worst season of his career -- he was 7-7 with a 5.09 ERA in 27 appearances in 2016. But he posted a 2.42 ERA in seven spring-training starts.
Wacha faced the Yankees on May 26, 2014, and allowed three runs and four hits in seven innings. He did not get a decision and New York scored twice in the 12th to get a 6-4 win.
Masahiro Tanaka (0-1) will start for New York on five days' rest. He originally was slated to start Thursday, but the Yankees pushed back their starters to insert Jordan Montgomery into the fifth spot Wednesday.
Earlier this week, manager Joe Girardi said the move was based on how hard Tanaka exerted himself Saturday at Baltimore in the veteran's second start of the season. Tanaka enters his home debut with an 11.74 ERA after allowing three runs and six hits in five innings during a no-decision in 5-4 loss.
Tanaka needed 60 pitches to get through the last two innings, and it took 35 pitches to escape a bases-loaded jam in the fifth.
"Obviously, I'm disappointed," Tanaka said through an interpreter Saturday. "I feel like I wasn't able to do what a starter is supposed to do. But you can't put your head down."
The move to push him back to Friday also could be based on the numbers the right-hander displayed last season when getting an extra day.
In 17 starts with more than four days' rest, Tanaka was 10-1 with a 2.54 ERA, as opposed to a 4-3 mark with a 3.71 ERA in 14 starts with normal rest.
Besides the three regular-season series, the Yankees and Cardinals teams have met five times in the World Series.
The Cardinals won seven-game series in 1926 and 1964 and prevailed in five games in 1942. The Yankees swept the Cardinals in 1928 and beat St. Louis in five in 1943.
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