Cardinals come home with high expectations -

Cardinals come home with high expectations

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ST. LOUIS (AP) -- It's practically a holiday in St. Louis -- the home opener for the Cardinals.

The season began with a 4-2 start on the road. On Monday, St. Louis plays its first home game, a late-afternoon matchup with winless Houston.

Expectations are usually high for the Cardinals, but more so this season with Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright at the top of the rotation and Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday in the middle of the batting order.

Monday's activities include pep rallies outside Busch Stadium and the annual motorcade of Hall-of-Famers and players around the warning track just prior to the game.

New Hall-of-Famer Whitey Herzog, who managed the Cardinals to a World Series title and two other pennants in the 1980s, will throw out the first pitch.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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