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Game will be made up Thursday afternoon

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- A rainout Monday night was the best possible news for the Milwaukee Brewers' pitching staff.

The postponement of the opener of a three-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals means the Brewers don't have to use a substitute starter for a while. Wes Obermueller, subbing for ailing Ben Sheets, was scheduled to make his first start of the season on Monday.

The game will be played Thursday afternoon, which was to be an off day for both teams. It's only the 59th rainout at 40-year-old Busch Stadium -- third in five seasons -- and first since May 25, 2004.

"This is the best thing in the world, really," Brewers manager Ned Yost said. "We were short bullpen-wise and going with a spot starter, and now we don't have to do that. It gets us pretty much back to full strength with our 'pen."

The Cardinals' rotation will not change, with Jeff Suppan (1-2) pitching on Tuesday. The Brewers will start Doug Davis (2-2) on Tuesday, his scheduled day, followed by Victor Santos (1-0), Chris Capuano (0-2) on regular rest Thursday and Gary Glover (1-1) on Friday at home against the Reds.

Yost won't need a fifth starter until Saturday, which again could be Obermueller. For the next few days, though, Obermueller will be available in relief.

The Brewers also have another day off on Monday. The Cardinals now don't have a day off until May 16.

"They're OK, we're in tougher shape," manager Tony La Russa said. "There's no choice. Mother Nature, so you make the best of it."

The game was postponed after three or four hours of steady rain that knocked out batting practice for both teams, combined with an unfavorable forecast. Not everybody was happy with the decision to play on the off day.

The Brewers' Geoff Jenkins would have preferred a day-night double-header on Wednesday.

"This is not an off day, we're here for six or seven hours," Jenkins said. "You enjoy your off days just because you relax and do whatever. It makes no sense."

Sheets was with the team on Monday after being hospitalized Friday and Saturday with an inner ear infection. He will likely miss his next turn in the rotation before making his a start somewhere during a home series against the Cubs on May 3-5.

"It'll be nice to get Bennie back," Yost said. "Definitely, we need him back in there."