Marquis tries to finish off sweep

Marquis tries to finish off sweep

Thursday was originally supposed to be an off-day for the Cardinals and Brewers, but rain on Monday night forced a makeup game instead. The respite would have been welcome for the Cards, who don't have another break in the schedule until May 16.

Jason Marquis tries to pick up his fourth win for St. Louis against a team he shut down at Miller Park recently. Marquis is off to an outstanding start, getting a slew of ground balls and keeping runs off the board for the most part. He could use some quicker outs, but it's hard to quibble with his performance thus far.

He'll get support from an offense that seems to be finding its way. Mark Grudzielanek's cycle paced the Cards on Wednesday, and Albert Pujols has been torrid over an eight-game hitting streak. And then there's Marquis himself, one of the most dangerous hitting pitchers in the game.

Following the afternoon contest, the Cardinals board a flight to Atlanta. On Friday night they'll play one of the young season's more anticipated matchups when former A's teammates Mark Mulder and Tim Hudson face one another at Turner Field.

Pitching matchup:
MIL: LHP Chris Capuano
• 0-2, 5.32 ERA in 2005
• 1-0, 1.50 vs. STL in 2004

STL: RHP Jason Marquis
• 3-0, 2.77 ERA in 2005
• 1-0, 1.13 ERA vs. MIL in 2005

Player to watch
Pujols only has three at-bats against Capuano, but one of them resulted in a home run. He's been rolling recently, with back-to-back multi-hit games, and he's using the whole field -- which is a sure sign that the slugger is going well.

Quotable
"Stay tuned. We're just gonna see who's available. A guy is not gonna be closing if he's not available. We'll do the best we can." -- Manager Tony La Russa, on how he'll handle the ninth inning in Jason Isringhausen's absence

On the Internet
MLB.TV
Gameday Audio
• Gameday
• Official game notes

On television
• MIL: No local TV
• STL: FOX Sports Net Midwest

On radio
• MIL: WTMJ 620
• STL: KMOX 1120

Quick hits
Marquis is batting .296 and slugging .407 since coming to the Cardinals. ... Marquis is 15-3 in his last 18 decisions, dating back to May of last season. ... Jim Edmonds' first-inning double on Wednesday was his first extra-base hit of the current homestand. ... Pujols has reached base in every game in 2005 and in his last 28 regular-season contests dating back to 2004. ... Scott Rolen and Pujols are the only Cardinals to appear in every game this year. ... Hector Luna is the only position player on the roster who has not started at least twice.

On deck
• Friday: Cardinals at Braves, 6:35 p.m. CT
• Saturday: Cardinals at Braves, 6:05 p.m. CT
• Sunday: Cardinals at Braves, 12:05 p.m. CT

Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.