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Players reflect on Jackie Robinson's impact

Everybody will be wearing No. 42 on Monday night. In 1997, under the direction of Commissioner Bud Selig, the jersey number was retired across all of Major League Baseball in an unprecedented tribute.

The Pirates will play host to the Cardinals on Jackie Robinson Day, the league's annual celebration of the day that Robinson broke baseball's color barrier in 1947.

The Pirates swept the Reds over the weekend to move to .500, and they used a great late-inning rally to storm back in Sunday's finale. The Reds led 5-0 after six innings, but the Pirates crept back within one, courtesy of a four-run rally in the seventh. Pittsburgh went ahead for good with a six-run burst in the eighth en route to a 10-7 victory.

Pittsburgh got three home runs on Sunday -- two from Michael McKenry and one from Starling Marte -- in the comeback win. The Cardinals, meanwhile, come to Pittsburgh on an interesting tear. St. Louis threw 39 consecutive scoreless innings before a Milwaukee rally in the eighth inning on Sunday, and the Brewers went on to score again in the ninth and 10th.

Veterans David Freese and Carlos Beltran both played as reserves in Sunday's extra-inning loss, and they'll likely be back in the starting lineup Monday as the Cardinals begin a 10-game road trip. Manager Mike Matheny was asked Sunday about juggling the lineup to make sure that Matt Adams -- hitting .611 in limited duty -- gets some more playing time.

"We have too many good players," said Matheny. "We're trying to get more of them in there, but it's hard when they're all playing well. We want to keep them going. I have no hesitation to put any of them in right now at this point."

James McDonald will start on Monday for the Pirates, and he'll be matched against Lance Lynn for the Cardinals. McDonald threw seven innings and allowed one earned run in a loss in his season debut. He earned a win, despite allowing four runs, in five innings against Arizona in his second outing. Lynn, meanwhile, was knocked out after just four innings in his season debut, but he came back and struck out 10 batters in six innings in a 5-1 win over the Reds.

Adams homered for the Cardinals on Sunday, and No. 3 hitter Matt Holliday has hit safely in 10 of his 11 games this season. But for Matheny, it's all about keeping everybody hot and making sure his entire roster is playing.

"Our job is to win over an extended period of time," he said. "This is more about 'we' than 'me,' and let's talk about what we need to do as a team to be successful over the long-haul. It may have to alter some of the personal goals as far as how many games a certain guy wants to play. We do need to keep these other guys sharp. We need to keep them fresh. We do need to use the abilities that they have. And I do think over the long-run, there will be a bonus to how fresh these other guys can be."

Cardinals: Looking to Lynn
Lynn will be carrying the Cardinals' momentum on Monday. St. Louis threw three consecutive shutouts and then got seven scoreless innings from Jaime Garcia on Sunday before the bullpen collapsed in the final three innings. The Cardinals' rotation has struck out a league-high 72 batters so far, and Lynn accounts for 13 of those.

Adam Wainwright -- who will miss this series -- pitched a four-hit shutout on Saturday, and Shelby Miller threw seven one-hit innings in Friday's series opener against Milwaukee. Miller will pitch again in Wednesday's series finale. The Cardinals will throw Jake Westbrook, who's 1-1 with a 0.00 ERA in two starts this season, in Tuesday's middle game.

Pirates: McKenry makes most of start
McKenry sprung for his first career multi-homer game on Sunday, giving the Pirates some production from the bottom of the order. The backstop drove a solo homer off Mat Latos in the seventh inning and a two-run shot off reliever Jonathan Broxton in the eighth. McKenry hit 12 homers last year as a rookie, but he came into Sunday's game batting 1-for-5 this year.

Pittsburgh's starting catcher, Russell Martin, has gotten off to a slow start. Martin is batting .065 (2-for-31) through his first 10 games as a Pirate, and he batted 1-for-8 in two games against the Reds. McKenry's day at the plate was a panacea for the Pirates, and he may get some more playing time if Martin continues to struggle.

Worth noting
• The Pirates will recognize the winners of the 2013 Jackie Robinson Art, Essay and Poetry contest with an on-field, pregame ceremony.

• Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina received his fifth-consecutive Gold Glove Award at Sunday's game.

• Monday's game will be the first of 19 played between these two teams. Pittsburgh won eight of 15 games against St. Louis last year. Comments