NLCS Game 3 lineups: Brewers vs. Cardinals

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Here are the lineups for Game 3 of the Brewers-Cardinals series:

   MILWAUKEE BREWERS            ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
1. Corey Hart, RF            1. Rafael Furcal, SS
2. Mark Kotsay, CF           2. Jon Jay, CF
3. Ryan Braun, LF            3. Albert Pujols, 1B
4. Prince Fielder, 1B        4. Matt Holliday, LF
5. Rickie Weeks, 2B          5. Lance Berkman, RF
6. Jerry Hairston Jr., 3B        6. Yadier Molina, C
7. Yuniesky Betancourt, SS   7. David Freese, 3B
8. Jonathan Lucroy, C        8. Nick Punto, 2B

SP Yovani Gallardo, RHP      SP Chris Carpenter, RHP

Nyjer Morgan is slumping offensively and struggling defensively, so manager Ron Roenicke has benched him for Game 3 despite facing a right-hander. However, instead of starting Carlos Gomez he’s going with Mark Kotsay, who’s 37 years old and started just nine games in center field during the regular season. Kotsay is 4-for-11 off Carpenter during his career, but 11 at-bats spread over a decade isn’t exactly meaningful.

With ground-baller Chris Carpenter on the mound Tony La Russa is going with his best defensive second baseman, Nick Punto. He’s also sticking with Matt Holliday in the cleanup spot and Lance Berkman batting fifth.

Jonny Venters is back in the majors

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The Rays announced on Wednesday that the club purchased the contract of lefty reliever Jonny Venters from Triple-A Durham. The 33-year-old hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 due to a continuous battle with arm injuries. The Rays note that he has undergone two and a half Tommy John surgeries, which is a number that seems to be in dispute.

Venters signed a minor league contract with the Rays in December. With Durham so far this season, he gave up two runs (one earned) on four hits and five walks with six strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.

Before the injuries, Venters was among the best relievers in 2010-11. In those two seasons, he posted a combined 1.89 ERA with 189 strikeouts and 82 walks in 171 innings.