Fireworks could erupt as Carpenter squares off with Cueto

What a better time to celebrate the Fourth of July by having the Cincinnati Reds in town. Downtown St. Louis will be concluding its annual Fair St. Louis with concerts and fireworks, and oh, did I mention that Chris Carpenter will go head-to-head with Johnny Cueto for the first time since last August’s brawl in Cincinnati?

The Cardinals enter the first of three games with their division rivals in a first place tie with Milwaukee, while the Reds sit two games behind the Cardinals. After the smoke clears and the dust settles, a statement will be made by one of these contending teams.

After a 4-2 road trip, the Cardinals return to Busch Stadium, where they’ve posted a 21-18 record this season. The Reds have dropped three of their last five games, are 1-5 against the Cardinals this season and have tallied a 20-21 record away from Great American.

For the Cardinals, another golden opportunity to beat up on a divisional opponent is within their grasp. Taking two of three or better yet, sweeping the Reds would give the them a huge boost heading into the All-Star Break.

Lineups:

Cardinals:

1) Theriot, ss

2) Jay, rf

3) Holliday, lf

4) Berkman, 1b

5) Freese, 3b

6) Rasmus, cf

7) Molina, c

8) Schumaker, 2b

9) Carpenter, p

Reds:

1) Lewis, lf

2) Phillips, 2b

3) Votto, 1b

4) Rolen, 3b

5) Bruce, rf

6) Hernandez, c

7) Stubbs, cf

8) Renteria, ss

9) Cueto, p

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