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Cubs righty Matt Garza shows he can flat throw

Cardinals leadoff man Skip Schumaker went 2-for-4 scored run Saturday. He struck out twice walked. | Chandler West~Sun-Times

Cardinals leadoff man Skip Schumaker went 2-for-4 and scored a run Saturday. He struck out twice and walked. | Chandler West~Sun-Times

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TODAY

Cardinals
at Cubs

The facts: 1:20 p.m., Ch. 9, 720-AM.

The starters: Adam Wainwright (8-10, 4.31 ERA) vs. Paul ­Maholm (9-6, 3.88).

Updated: August 30, 2012 6:33AM



Right-hander Matt Garza threw on flat ground Saturday in his first action since leaving his July 21 start against the Cardinals after three innings.

Garza, who has felt cramping in his right triceps, threw without problems and is to throw a bullpen session Monday. He will be evaluated after that.

‘‘He’s gradually progressing,’’ manager Dale Sveum said. ‘‘Everything is getting better each day, so that’s good. We’ll get him out there [pitching] late next week.’’

But Garza’s future depends on what happens before the 3 p.m. non-waiver trade deadline Tuesday as the Cubs weigh potential offers for him.

It will be a significant day either way for Garza. Doctors plan to induce his wife to deliver their fourth child on Tuesday.

Garza, 28, left his last start in St. Louis complaining of cramping in his right upper arm. An MRI performed this week was ‘‘clean,’’ Sveum said, showing only some fluid near the triceps.

Most likely, the procedure also was done to clear any doubts about Garza’s health.

Monday’s starter

Sveum said there still is no one scheduled for the game Monday against the Pirates, admitting the team might have to wait until after Sunday’s game to name someone.

‘‘We’ll have someone here Monday or we might not need anyone,’’ he said.

Right-hander Justin Germano, 29, whom the Cubs acquired July 19 from the Red Sox for cash after he was designated for assignment, could be a candidate. He took over for Garza on July 21, allowing one run in three innings.

He appeared in 80 major-league games with the Padres, Reds, Indians and Red Sox and started 36.

The other possibility is the acquisition of a pitcher in a trade.

Gold Glove candidate

Second baseman Darwin Barney didn’t start Saturday, and Sveum said giving him a day off to revive his bat — he’s hitting .231 for July — meant sacrificing something defensively.

‘‘I don’t think anyone has played better second base,’’ Sveum said. ‘‘He warrants a Gold Glove. He’s played as good a second base as I’ve seen through 100 games. He’s consistent at turning the double play, catching pop-ups, knowing how to play every hitter and paying attention to details — things that go unnoticed.  He’s incredible and only a year and a half from playing shortstop his whole life.’’

Barney entered the game in the eighth as a defensive replacement to extend his errorless streak at second base to 86 games. He has played 687 consecutive innings since his last miscue at second in the eighth inning April 17. He leads major-league second basemen with a .998 fielding average.

Outta here

Sveum was ejected at the end of the seventh by first-base umpire Mike Winters, who ruled Starlin Castro was out to end the inning with the bases loaded. It was Sveum’s third ejection.



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