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ARI@STL: Wacha shuts out D-backs over six innings

The teams need no introductions. Together, they've combined for 38 championships and enough Hall of Famers to build their own museum.

And yet, when the Cardinals and Yankees begin a three-game series at Busch Stadium on Monday, they will be meeting during the regular season for only the third time in history. That doesn't mean the series isn't the renewal of a special rivalry.

"Because of the championships between both teams, and the success that they've had, [it's special]," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "I really believe so."

St. Louis and New York have met in the World Series five times, with the Cardinals coming away with three championships.

History will be made in this series. The Yankees will play for the first time at Busch Stadium III, and shortstop Derek Jeter, who has said that he would retire at season's end, will play his final series against St. Louis unless the teams meet in the postseason yet again.

"It goes quickly. It's been a long time," Jeter said when asked what he's learned on his farewell tour. "You look back and there are certain memories that you have and you say, 'Man, that's a long time ago.' It goes fast."

It's been a long time, too, since the Cardinals and Yankees last met. The historic franchises haven't played an Interleague series since 2005, when the Cardinals won two of three games at Busch Stadium II. Jeter was 31 years old then and went 5-for-13.

The other regular-season series between the teams was played at old Yankee Stadium in 2003, when the Yankees swept a three-game set.

"Overall, I have a lot of respect for what they've been able to do and how they've been able to do it," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "And all the excitement with Jeter, he's somebody I have a great deal of respect for -- for how he's been on that stage this long and has kept such a great reputation, as well as what he's done as a player."

While much of this matchup is about the history, the series opener will be started by a pair of young pitchers.

The Cardinals will send 22-year-old Michael Wacha to the mound. In his second season in the Majors, Wacha has tossed quality starts in eight of his 10 outings.

"It's young and it's pretty good. We're going to see three guys who all throw 95, 96 [mph]," Girardi said of the Cardinals' pitchers. "Their pitching is youthful, but they've shown they can be extremely good -- and they were in the World Series last year."

Wacha pitched six scoreless, two-hit innings in his last start against Arizona before a screaming foul ball into the dugout hit him above his right elbow and forced an early exit. He was fine one day later, keeping him in line for his first start against New York.

"Everything feels good, I have all the range of motion and everything that I was looking for," Wacha said. "The arm feels great."

Meanwhile, the Yankees will send 24-year-old Chase Whitley to the mound. The right-hander made his debut in the Majors on May 15, and has only two starts under his belt. He's allowed one run over nine innings and will be stretched to 80-85 pitches in St. Louis, where there will be no lack of excitement for the matchup.

"They're very good fans. They're passionate. They're very loyal," Girardi said. "You see their park packed all the time."

Yankees: Farewell tour continues for Jeter in St. Louis
Jeter has heard the cheers everywhere he's gone this season and the gifts have come along with them.

Jeter will be honored prior to Monday's series opener when several Cardinals front-office members, Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith and Hall of Famer Red Schoendienst will join him on the field to give him a gift from the Cardinals.

"It's unexpected," Jeter said last week when the Cubs honored him. "I never expected anyone to do anything, so it's much appreciated. For the most part, the fans have always treated me good. This year, it feels good when you're appreciated."

Cardinals: '64 champs set for Busch Stadium appearance
More than a dozen members of the Cardinals' 1964 World Series championship club are expected to be present for a 50th-anniversary celebration at Busch Stadium on Monday.

Fittingly, the Cardinals will be hosting the New York Yankees in an Interleague series, as it was the Yankees whom the Cardinals defeated in seven games to capture the franchise's seventh championship. That was the last time the two storied franchises met in a Fall Classic.

Among the players from the '64 team who will be in attendance are Mike Shannon, Tim McCarver, Lou Brock and Bob Gibson. The pregame ceremony will be streamed live on MLB.TV and will include a parade of the players around the warning track.

Worth noting
• St. Louis is one of three National League teams that have won more World Series against the Yankees than they've lost (Arizona and Miami are each 1-0). New York won in 1928 and 1943, while St. Louis took the title in 1926, 1942 and 1964.

• During his 20-year career with the Yankees, Jeter has played against the Cardinals six times, going 8-for-26 (.308) with three doubles.

• The Cardinals will avoid Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka as he pitched the series finale against the White Sox on Sunday. The rookie right-hander, who has become New York's ace, is 7-1 with a 2.29 ERA. Comments