National League Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, August 24th
(All times Eastern)
St. Louis Cardinals (68-56) at Cincinnati Reds (76-50), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: St. Louis - Lance Lynn (13-5, 3.73)
Cincinnati - Mat Latos (10-3, 3.56)
(Sports Network) - If the St. Louis Cardinals emerge from their upcoming road
trip still holding on to a playoff spot, they would have certainly earned it.
The Cards open up the 10-game trek on Friday with the opener of a three-game
series against the NL Central-leading Cincinnati Reds.
St. Louis will first try to close a seven-game gap between itself and
Cincinnati in the division before visiting the Pittsburgh Pirates for three
games to begin next week. The Cardinals lead the Pirates by one game for the
second wild card spot in the NL.
The defending World Series champions then wrap their swing with a four-game
set at the Washington Nationals, who lead the NL East.
The Cardinals won for the fourth time in five games on Thursday, routing the
Houston Astros 13-5 to finish off a three-game sweep. Matt Holliday
highlighted a five-run fifth inning with a three-run double, finishing with
four RBI. Holliday and teammate Carlos Beltran are tied with the Milwaukee
Brewers' Ryan Braun for the league lead in RBI with 85.
"It was one of the biggest games of the year to close out the sweep against
these guys," said Allen Craig, who had three hits and three RBI. "We weren't
really swinging very well, but to turn it around the way we did was huge."
David Freese added a three-run homer and run-scoring single, while Jake
Westbrook yielded five runs over five innings to earn the win.
Lance Lynn now tries to get on track for the Cardinals as he is 0-1 with a
5.48 earned run average in four starts since his last victory on July 27.
The right-hander turned in this shortest outing of the season on Saturday
against the Pirates. Unable to minimize the damage over 4 1/3 frames, Lynn was
charged with three runs on four hits and three walks with eight strikeouts.
"I threw the ball well all day," Lynn said. "You give up four hits and they
cost you (three) runs, that's the tough part about it. You gotta make sure
those hits don't cost you runs."
The 25-year-old is 13-5 with a 3.73 ERA in 24 starts and will make his first
career start versus the Reds, having faced them three times in relief as a
rookie last season.
Mat Latos hopes to prevent the second-place Cardinals from cutting into the
Reds' lead when he makes his 26th start of the season. The righty is 10-3 with
a 3.56 ERA and has not factored into the decision of his last three starts
since winning three in a row, with Cincinnati 2-1 over that time.
The 24-year-old righty, who hasn't lost since July 18, is coming off an eight-
inning no-decision versus the Chicago Cubs on Sunday. Latos was charged with
four runs -- only two earned -- on six hits and three walks in an eventually
Latos is 0-1 with an 8.44 ERA in two starts against the Cards this season.
The Reds had to settle for a four-game split with the Philadelphia Phillies on
Thursday after suffering a 4-3 loss in 11 innings. Alfredo Simon took the
loss, yielding John Mayberry's walk-off RBI single in the frame.
"We just started to keep playing Houdini all the time," Reds manager Dusty
Baker said. "Three innings in a row they kept putting them out there. They
Todd Frazier knocked in all three runs for the Reds, who were denied their
first three-game win streak in Philadelphia since 1996.
The Reds have won their last four meetings with the Cardinals and lead the
season series 5-4.
08/24 10:34:44 ET
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