St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds Jump-Kick Off With Rivalry Intact

CINCINNATI, OH - APRIL 10: Kyle Lohse #26 of the St Louis Cardinals throws a pitch during the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on April 10, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The St. Louis Cardinals and the Cincinnati Reds will try not to perform Street Fighter moves on each other this week at Busch Stadium.

The St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds aren't as likely to jump-kick each other as they have been in the past, with Tony La Russa gone and the more amenable Mike Matheny installed in his place, but the rivalry remains as heated as ever, with both teams in good shape to challenge for the NL Central's 2012 crown. Johnny Cueto, the jump-kicker himself, and Kyle Lohse, the Cardinals' improvised opening day starter, kick off the series Tuesday with a 7:15 date scheduled at Busch Stadium.

On Wednesday, the Reds' new acquisition, Mat Latos, who's struggled so far, will face Jaime Garcia, who hasn't been all that sharp himself. The series closes out on Thursday, when veterans Bronson Arroyo and Adam Wainwright—making his third start back from elbow surgery—will play a Thursday afternoon game, currently set for a 12:45 bow.

From there the Cardinals will move on to Pittsburgh, where they're set to face the Pirates; the Reds head to Wrigley Field, to continue their road trip against the Chicago Cubs, before returning to Great American Ballpark on April 24.

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