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Brewers-Cardinals opener postponed

Brewers-Cards opener postponed

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ST. LOUIS -- Yovani Gallardo gets a mulligan.

Gallardo surrendered a two-run home run in the bottom of the second inning Friday and was still trying to work out of trouble when the dark clouds that had been descending on Busch Stadium washed those runs away. After a rain delay of approximately 90 minutes, the Brewers-Cardinals game was postponed.

None of what happened Friday will appear in the historical record, and the game will instead be played on Monday at 7:15 p.m. CT, originally an off-day for both teams. Gallardo, who threw only 30 pitches before the rain, could come back to start the new series finale, but the Brewers could also bump up Braden Looper to pitch on regular rest and use Gallardo on Tuesday in Houston. Gallardo pitched his first career complete game at Minute Maid Park on April 24.

Brewers manager Ken Macha said he would make that decision on Saturday. Fox Sports Wisconsin was supposed to carry Friday's game, but it was not known whether the network would air Monday's makeup.

The rescheduled game was not announced until about an hour after the rainout was made official, because the sides were debating two dates. The Brewers wanted to play Monday, but the Cardinals preferred Aug. 31. Both sides had their reasons. The Brewers wanted to leave Aug. 31 open, because filling that date would leave them only two off-days in their final 42 regular-season games. Nobody would say so on the record, but the Brewers would also prefer to play the Cardinals now, while outfielders Rick Ankiel and Ryan Ludwick, infielder Troy Glaus and ace Chris Carpenter are out with injuries. The Cardinals prefered the later date, both because of those injury concerns and because manager Tony La Russa had a charity golf tournament scheduled for Monday. Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak met with Brewers representatives after the game was called and the decision to play Monday came shortly thereafter.

The teams took batting practice under sunny skies on a hot and muggy Friday afternoon, but the skies darkened ominously just after Cardinals right-hander Kyle Lohse threw his first pitch. By the second inning, the wind began to whip through Busch Stadium and Cardinals officials flashed a message across the scoreboard: The National Weather Service expects severe weather in the area in the next 30 minutes.

Gallardo did not need the National Weather Service to tell him something was coming.

"You mean when it started to cool off and it was pitch black?" he said. "Yeah, I saw. ... The wind was almost blowing you off the mound."

Gallardo faced a two-on, one-out jam in the first inning but escaped with a double play. Yadier Molina singled leading off the second before Colby Rasmus belted a second-pitch fastball for a two-run home run to right field. Gallardo retired Tyler Greene and walked Joe Thurston before the rain started falling.

Thanks to Mother Nature, his slate was wiped clean.

"That is the good news," Gallardo said. "I made a mistake out over the plate and [Rasmus] was able to jump on it and hit it out."

Macha considered starting a reliever -- Seth McClung or Jorge Julio -- in case the game was delayed by rain in the early innings. But the radar showed that the storm had a chance to skirt St. Louis to the north, so he stuck with Gallardo.

"We were kind of on the bottom edge of the thing," Macha said. "We didn't know the rain was going to do what it did. We would have looked foolish if we did that and the rain had stayed north. You can't predict what's going to happen."

The decision to postpone the game was announced on television after a Cardinals broadcaster noticed umpire crew chief Gerry Davis walk onto the field and motion to the press box. About 10 minutes later, the Cardinals finally made it official.

Said Macha of the way umpires handled the decision: "They did it the way it should be done."

It was Milwaukee's first rainout this season. The teams, tied atop the National League Central at 21-14, will try again to begin their series at 12:10 p.m. CT on Saturday. Jeff Suppan will start against the Cardinals' Adam Wainwright.

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

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