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  • 10 Aug
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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 Jordan
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    , 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, 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 David
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    , 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, 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 Riley
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    , .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, 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 Greedy
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    , in 33 at-bats against Samardzija.

    SANTA CLARA, Calif.
    (AP) — The schedule makers dealt Mike McGlinchey a rude welcome to the NFL.The
    rookie right tackle for the San Francisco 49ers had three of his first four
    games on the road, including matchups against elite pass rushers like
    Minnesota’s Danielle Hunter, Kansas City’s Justin Houston and Melvin Ingram of
    the Chargers.Looking back at that experience now, McGlinchey acknowledges it was
    almost crippling.“You could almost feel as soon as a pass play was called, ‘Now
    I have to worry about getting off the snap on time. I have to worry about what
    he’s going to do,'” McGlinchey recalled this week. “You could feel the stuff
    behind your eyes putting pressure on your face and you’re just like all right.
    It’s just one of those things you feel overwhelmed and growing inside you. You
    have to control it. I had solid games but nowhere near what it is now. I just
    wish I didn’t have to worry about what I did being a rookie trying to impress
    everybody early on and just play football.”After that somewhat spotty start to
    his career, McGlinchey has found his groove and has justified the decision the
    Niners (4-10) made when they drafted him ninth overall to be a foundation piece
    of the offense.San Francisco immediately traded incumbent tackle Trent Brown,
    one of the better pass blockers at the
    position Sione
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    , to New England and gave the starting job to
    McGlinchey.Coach Kyle Shanahan said some rookies can’t recover after being
    exposed early by top-level NFL players but that wasn’t a problem for McGlinchey
    when he struggled at times against Ingram in Week 4.“That never enters
    McGlinchey’s mind,” Shanahan said. “He thinks about what just happened, tries to
    get through it and I think him getting through that game and being able to make
    it through an injury and playing against a good player, that always gives guys
    confidence.”That confidence has built as the season has gone along and
    McGlinchey has been one of the better rookies in the league. His strong play has
    helped third-string quarterback Nick Mullens flourish in recent weeks and he has
    been a major part of a running game that was ranked in the top 10 in production
    for most of the season.But he’s still not satisfied.“I’m not where I want to be
    and I’m not sure you ever are as a football player,” he said. “But what I’m
    proud of this season is I’ve been stacking games together. Since a certain point
    of midway through the season I can feel myself getting better each and every
    week and taking things that I saw on tape last week or in practice and
    improving.”That’s been particularly crucial during a recent stretch where
    McGlinchey and the 49ers have once again been matched up against a string of
    elite pass rushers.San Francisco has matched up against Seattle’s Frank Clark in
    two of the past three weeks, with a date against Denver’s dynamic duo of Von
    Miller and Bradley Chubb in between. In all, the 49ers will have faced 10 of the
    top 13 leading sackers in the NFL this season after Sunday’s matchup against
    Khalil Mack and the Chicago Bears.As challenging as it was two weeks ago dealing
    with Miller’s speed rush off the edge, McGlinchey will have even more to deal
    with against Mack, a player he called the best pass rusher in the NFL.“It’s
    completely
    different Sheldrick
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    ,” he said. “(Mack’s) bigger, he’s stronger, he uses more
    power. With Von the challenge is staying in front of him. With Khalil it’s just
    about everything. Von is in a class of his own in terms of get off. Khalil is so
    multiple with how he can rush. That’s what his biggest strength is.”NOTES: S
    Jaquiski Tartt (stinger) will be placed on IR on Saturday and miss the rest of
    the season. … Marcell Harris will once again start in his place.