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SAN FRANCISCO — Two teams expecting key pitchers to be ready for their regular duties clash Saturday afternoon when the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants lock horns for the third time in their four-game series.
The clubs have split the first two games Deion Sanders Jersey , with the Cardinals doing pretty much all the hitting in an 11-2 shellacking on Thursday night, before the Giants got the better of a pitchers’ duel in a 3-2 victory on Friday.
Two days after watching Johnny Cueto get rocked in his return from the disabled list, Jeff Samardzija is expected to make his first start for the Giants since May 29.
Samardzija (1-4, 6.56) struggled through pectoral and shoulder soreness in April and May before being shelved.
“I always willed myself through little injuries and pains here and there along the way,” Samardzija told SFGate.com. “I thought with a little break, I’d be fine. It just ended up being an uphill battle the whole time. We feel back to normal.”
He pitched well against the Cardinals last season, allowing a total of one run and seven hits in 15 innings in two starts Deion Sanders Jersey , striking out 17.
He didn’t get a decision in either game, both of which the Giants won.
Samardzija has faced the Cardinals 23 times in his career, 12 times as a starter, and has a 4-4 record with a 3.68 ERA.
The veteran’s return means the Giants will have their three top guns — Madison Bumgarner, Cueto and Samardzija — in the rotation at the same time for the first time this season.
Samardzija will be opposed by Cardinals right-hander Carlos Martinez (5-4, 3.20), who is coming off consecutive strong outings against Cleveland and Arizona Larry Csonka Jersey , giving up a total of four runs in 12 innings in a pair of wins.
He will be pitching in San Francisco for just the second time in his career, having allowed one run in five innings in a Cardinals win in 2014.
Martinez is 2-1 with a 3.09 ERA in his career against the Giants in five games, including three starts.
The 26-year-old has dominated his head-to-heads with several of the Giants’ top hitters, including Buster Posey (1-for-9, .111) and Andrew McCutchen (7-for-39, .179). McCutchen delivered the eventual game-winning hit in Friday’s San Francisco win.
St. Louis welcomed back Paul DeJong from the DL on Friday and he responded immediately with a hit and scored both of the Cardinals’ runs.
The standout second baseman had been out for seven weeks with a fractured hand.
The Cardinals didn’t have closer Bud Norris available to them in the first two games of the series after he experienced pain in his right index finger in Arizona on Wednesday.
Norris, a San Francisco Bay Area native Ray Lewis Jersey , underwent an MRI on Friday and was cleared to remain on the active roster.
He threw a side session before Friday’s game and Cardinals manager Mike Matheny announced he would be available to pitch on Saturday.
“At this point in this season, we’re going to get every look at every guy we can,” Matheny said of recent roster shuffling that included the return outfielder Dexter Fowler from the DL on Thursday. “Whenever they get a runny nose, I think we’ll have two different doctors check it out. It’s that kind of year. Be cautious when we can.”
Fowler hasn’t started either game in the series, but is a candidate to play Saturday based on his five career extra-base hits, including a home run, in 33 at-bats against Samardzija.
The NFL has suspended free agent quarterback Mark Sanchez for the first four games of next season for violating the league's policy against performance-enhancing substances.The league announced the punishment Friday. He is eligible to participate in offseason and preseason practices and games.
Sanchez says on Instagram he was "blind-sided" and has "never cheated or attempted to gain a competitive advantage by using a banned performance enhancing substance." He says he has been "subject to 73 drug tests" and "all but one have been clean."
He attributed the result to "unknowing supplement contamination Garrett Grayson Jersey , not the use of performance enhancing substances."
Sanchez spent last season as Chicago's third-string quarterback. He has also played for the New York Jets (2009-13), Philadelphia (2014-15) and Dallas (2016).
The 31-year-old quarterback was the No. 5 overall pick in the 2009 NFL draft and helped lead the Jets to the AFC championship game during his first two seasons. He has been mostly a backup since being released by New York after the 2013 season, starting just 10 games over the last four years.
Sanchez has thrown for 15,219 yards and 86 touchdowns with 86 interceptions during his career. He did not play in a game for the Bears last season.
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