Cardinals, Nationals lineups for NLCS Game 3

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The Cardinals cannot, per MLB rules, get rid of their entire lineup and hire, say, the Boston Red Sox hitters for tonight’s game, even if they wanted to. And given how the last two games have gone, they probably want to. Heck, maybe they’re even regretting that 13-spot they put on the Braves in Game 5 of the NLDS because it used up all their runs for the month or something. No idea.

I do know, though, that they have shaken things up a bit for this evening’s game, putting in José Martínez — who has two pinch-hits in this series — moving Tommy Edman to third and benching Matt Carpenter:

1. Dexter Fowler (S) CF
2. Kolten Wong (L) 2B
3. Paul Goldschmidt (R) 1B
4. Marcell Ozuna (R) LF
5. Yadier Molina (R) C
6. José Martínez (R) RF
7. Tommy Edman (S) 3B
8. Paul DeJong (R) SS
9. Jack Flaherty (R) P

The Nats, meanwhile, go with this setup. Which, for the first time since Game 2 of the NLDS, includes Víctor Robles:

1. Trea Turner (R) SS
2. Adam Eaton (L) RF
3. Anthony Rendon (R) 3B
4. Juan Soto (L) LF
5. Howie Kendrick (R) 2B
6. Ryan Zimmerman (R) 1B
7. Kurt Suzuki (R) C
8. Víctor Robles (R) CF
9. Stephen Strasburg (R) P

Game time is 7:38 this evening.

Pujols hits 701st career home run, connects for Cardinals

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ST. LOUIS — Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols hit his 701st home run, connecting Friday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Pujols launched a slider from former teammate Johan Oviedo over the Big Mac Land sign in left field at Busch Stadium. The solo drive in the fourth inning made it 1-all.

Pujols faced Oviedo for the first time and made the 24-year-old righty the 456th different pitcher he’s homered against.

The St. Louis star hadn’t homered in a week since hitting No. 699 and 700 at Dodger Stadium last Friday. Pujols had gone 10 at-bats without a home run after two starts and one pinch-hit appearance.

The Busch Stadium crowd gave the 42-year-old Pujols a long standing ovation before he came out of the Cardinals dugout to tip his cap for a curtain call.

Pujols hit his 22nd home run this season for the NL Central champion Cardinals.

Pujols is fourth on the career home run list behind Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).