Reds Vs. Cardinals: Albert Pujols Makes First Start After Returning From DL

St. Louis had always hoped that Albert Pujols would make a speedy return to the starting lineup. They just couldn't have expected it to come this early.

Just 17 days after breaking his left wrist in a collision at first base -- an injury that was supposed to sideline him for six weeks -- Pujols will return to the starting lineup for the Cardinals' primetime Wednesday night showdown against the Cincinnati Reds (43-44). The first basemen was activated yesterday afternoon, but was unneeded after the Cardinals quickly ran the score up on their divisional rivals.

St. Louis (47-40) will send righthander Jake Westbrook (7-4, 4.92) to the mound, fresh off a spectacular performance against Tampa Bay in which he allowed a season-low two hits over seven scoreless innings while striking out seven. Westbrook has fared well against Cincinnati in the past, amassing a 2-1 record with a 3.23 ERA over five career starts.

Cincinnati will counter with 12-year veteran Bronson Arroyo (7-7, 5.49 ERA). The righthander is coming off a horrendous start against Cleveland in which he gave up eight runs over four-and-two-thirds innings. Arroyo's last performance against St. Louis came on May 13th, as he pitched six innings of three run ball to pace the Cincinnati win.

For more on Albert Pujol's return head over to SB Nation's Cardinals blog Viva El Birdos. To read more about the Cincinnati Reds check out the Red Reporter.

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