What you need to know before Lynn's first pitch

BIRD WATCHING: The 2013 National League Champion St. Louis Cardinals opened the home portion of their 123rd season of play in the National League with a 5-3 win over N.L. Central Division-rival Cincinnati yesterday, improving to 4-3 on the young season...the win snapped a 3-game Home Opener losing streak dating to 2010 and was witnessed by a Busch Stadium III record crowd of 47,492...the Cardinals have alternated wins and losses since opening the season last Monday (3/31) at Cincinnati with a 1-0 win...St. Louis went 3-3 (2-1 at CIN & 1-2 at PIT) its season-opening roadtrip, enduring three rain delays, totaling 7:27.

EARLY BIRDS: The Cardinals own the N.L.'s best mark (206-145, .587) in March/April games since 2000 & they're second in the majors behind only Boston (204-140, .593)...the Cards last losing April came in 2007 (10-14)...FALL BALL: The Cardinals have played in a Major League-high 48 postseason games from 2011-13 with the Detroit Tigers (35 games) being the next closest during that three-season span...the closest National League team is San Francisco (16)...the Cardinals (2011, 2013) and Giants (2010, 2012) have alternated winning the N.L. pennant each of the past four seasons.

RED MENACE: Matt Holliday and Yadier Molina continue to be a menace to the Reds...Holliday has collected a ML-leading 27 RBI against CIN since 2012 while slugging at a .532 rate...Molina has driven in 16 runs in that span, slugging .508...Molina has 5 RBI, including 2 game-winners, against the Reds in 4 games already, while Holliday has had a pair of RBI doubles against Cincy.

MARTINEZ SPELLS RELIEF: After suffering a loss on a walk-off hit in the 9th last Wed. (4/2) at CIN, Carlos Martinez has been a stopper for the Cards, posting a team-high 3 Holds...he's had scoreless outings of 1.2 innings in each of his last two outings (April 5 & 7) and is currently ranked 2nd amongst NL relievers with his 5.1 IP.

HERE'S JHONNY: Jhonny Peralta cracked his 2nd HR of the season on Sat. & his two April homers are the most by a Cards shortstop since 2009 when Khalil Greene also hit a pair...Edgar Renteria (5 in 2000) holds the Cardinals April record for shortstop homers..the Redbirds had a total of 4 HR's from their shortstops in all of 2013...Peralta is tied with Molina for team HR lead & his 4 RBI are 2nd.

ROSTER RUNDOWN: The Cardinals roster includes 12 pitchers, 2 catchers, 6 infielders and 5 out- fielders...the roster includes four first-time Cardinals (Bourjos, Neshek, Peralta) and 19 players that were drafted/developed within the Cardinals organization...three players (Ellis, J. Garcia Motte) are on the disabled list...youngest player is Carlos Martinez (22) and oldest is Randy Choate (38).

ADAMS BOASTS BABIP: Matt "Big City" Adams collected his team-high 4th multi-hit game in yesterday's home opener and he's leading the team with 9 hits while posting a .474 BA with balls in play, ranking 7th in the NL.


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