❑ 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.