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STL@ARI: Lynn fans seven over five shutout innings

After two tough losses to the Braves, including a 12-inning defeat on Friday and a 7-2 thumping on Saturday, the Cardinals will try to notch a win and deny Atlanta a three-game sweep at Busch Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

They'll have the right man on the hill, with Lance Lynn going for his Major League-leading seventh win.

Getting six wins in his first six decisions to open the season, Lynn not only leads the Majors in wins, but he also has the third-best ERA at 1.40.

Lynn joined the rotation after Chris Carpenter went down with nerve irritation in his right shoulder during Spring Training. St. Louis has continued to be cautious with the young right-hander after he mainly pitched out of the bullpen last season and is in his first full Major League season.

The team removed Lynn after 91 pitches in his last start, in which he tossed five innings and gave up just three hits against the D-backs.

"We're winning games when I'm out there on the mound," Lynn said. "That's all that matters. That's what I'm here to do, help the team win. I'm getting a lot of help. I just hope I keep improving every time out."

He'll get an added boost with Lance Berkman likely to come off the 15-day disabled list on Sunday with a left calf strain. Berkman took batting practice, fielded grounders at first base and ran sprints in the outfield before Saturday's game with no setbacks.

"He had a good day," St. Louis general manager John Mozeliak said. "He'll go in the training room and be reassessed, but I'm hopeful that it'll be Sunday or Monday, at the latest."

Meanwhile, Atlanta right-hander Tommy Hanson will try to complete a Braves sweep after a solid performance on Monday against the Cubs.

While Hanson did take the loss in the start, the righty managed to throw six innings, giving up just two runs on five hits. Striking out three in the contest, Hanson bounced back from his worst start of the season.

The right-hander's fastball is still consistently sitting around 89-90 mph and maxed out at 92 in the first two innings Monday, a drop off from the dominant form he had when arriving on the scene midway through the 2009 season.

"I'm getting more comfortable with all of my pitches," Hanson said. "So hopefully, I can keep on that path."

Braves: Hinske unlikely to be suspended
Eric Hinske will apparently not be suspended after he was ejected in the eighth inning of Friday's game by home-plate umpire Mike Muchlinski. After a disputed strike-three call on a check swing, Hinske went nose-to-nose with Muchlinski and was quickly thrown out.

Since the Braves had not heard from the National League office as of late Saturday afternoon, Hinske will likely escape a suspension. A fine is still a possibility.

"I've never seen him act like that, he was pretty emotional," said manager Fredi Gonzalez.

Cardinals: Carpenter's return likely after break
With right-hander Chris Carpenter continuing to make progress in regaining right shoulder strength, Mozeliak believes Carpenter could begin his throwing program in mid-June. However, the team doesn't expect to have him back before the All-Star break.

"I'm OK with that," Carpenter said of the forecast, which he was first told about Saturday. "I feel good. I feel like I'm getting stronger. To be honest with you, I do hope that I am throwing by mid-June because that's a month away. With the way I feel now, I expect to be unless I have a huge setback or something."

Once Carpenter begins his throwing program, it will likely take approximately four to six weeks to complete the process of fully building up his arm.

Worth noting
• Braves right-hander Jair Jurrjens tossed a seven-inning complete game on Friday in helping the Triple-A Gwinnett Braves to a 3-2 win over Toledo as part of an International League doubleheader. Jurrjens improved to 2-0 with a 2.05 ERA. He gave up eight hits, struck out two and walked one.

• After surrendering one earned run on four hits and one walk in 10 1/3 innings in April, Cards reliever Mitchell Boggs has struggled through much of May. In five outings (3 2/3 innings) this month, Boggs has given up three earned runs, nine hits and four walks.

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