National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, June 30th
(All times eastern)
Pittsburgh Pirates (41-35) at St. Louis Cardinals (40-37), 2:15 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Pittsburgh - Jeff Karstens (0-2, 6.35)
St. Louis - Lance Lynn (10-3, 3.23)
(Sports Network) - The Pittsburgh Pirates have been one of the big surprises
in the major leagues this season and will shoot for a fourth straight win
today in the continuation of a three-game series against the NL Central-rival
St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium.
The Pirates earned a four-game split with Philadelphia before annihilating St.
Louis, 14-5, in Friday's series opener. Andrew McCutchen led the charge by
going 4-for-5 with a home run, three RBI and four runs scored, while Garrett
Jones, Clint Barmes and Alex Presly all went deep for the Pirates, winners in
three straight and nine of their last 13 games.
McCutchen's 15 home runs are the most by a Pirate before the All-Star break
since Willie Stargel clubbed 21 in 1965.
"We've been good as of late. This is what we've been waiting for all season,"
Presley said on the Pirates' website. "We've come together as a unit, and from
top to bottom, you can see guys contributing. We're really swinging it well."
Pittsburgh starter Kevin Correia allowed five runs on six hits over five
innings with three strikeouts and two walks for the win. Brad Lincoln tossed
three scoreless innings in relief and Chris Resop closed the door in the
The Pirates remained one game behind Cincinnati for the NL Central lead with
the Cardinals 2 1/2 games off the pace. Pittsburgh is 3-2 on a seven-game road
trip and 18-22 away from the Steel City.
Taking the mound for the Buccos Saturday will be Jeff Karstens. Karstens, who
has been bothered by shoulder and hip injuries this season, is 0-2 with a 6.35
earned run average in four starts and was roughed up the last time out in an
8-3 setback at Philadelphia on Monday. He gave up seven runs -- six earned --
and 11 hits in five innings.
Karstens, a right-hander, is 0-2 in three road starts this season and 1-2 with
a 4.13 ERA in seven career games (6 starts) against the Cardinals.
St. Louis has dropped two straight since winning five in a row and opened a
10-game homestand on a sour note last night.
Adam Wainwright was saddled with the loss for giving up seven runs and 11 hits
in five innings, while the bullpen surrendered seven more runs.
"I was able to keep cool between innings and I felt like I was refreshed when
I went back out there each time," Wainwright said about dealing with the heat.
"Tonight was just one of those horrible nights when I didn't make pitches when
I needed to."
Allen Craig hit a three-run homer and Carlos Beltran finally collected his
2,000th career hit with a game-tying RBI single in the second inning for the
Cardinals, who fell to 17-17 in the Gateway City this season. The Cardinals
will also host Colorado and Miami on the residency.
Beltran is one homer shy of 200 in the National League and needs one more
double for 400 in his career. He has an RBI in a team-best seven straight
games (12 total) dating back to June 22 at Kansas City.
"I just have to thank God for making it happen, keeping me in this game long
enough to accomplish something like that," Beltran said of reaching the 2,000-
hit mark. "I'm grateful for that and thankful for the opportunity he has given
me to play this game at a high level."
Matt Holliday had two hits in Friday's loss and entered the game batting .489
since June 16. He is hitting .357 in seven games against Pittsburgh this
Toeing the rubber for the Red Birds tonight will be Lance Lynn. Lynn is 0-2 in
his last two starts since winning four of five trips to the mound, and is
aiming for his 11th win of the season. Lynn, who led the majors in wins at one
point this season, did not record a decision in Sunday's 11-8 victory at
Kansas City in which he allowed six runs and nine hits in 5 1/3 innings.
Lynn has allowed 11 runs over the past two starts and is 10-3 with a 3.23 ERA
in 15 outings this season. The right-hander has filled in nicely while staff
ace Chris Carpenter recovers from a balky shoulder and has defeated Pittsburgh
twice already this season. Lynn is 2-0 with a 2.30 ERA in three career games
(2 starts) against the Pirates.
Despite last night's win, the Pirates have lost four of seven matchups with
St. Louis this season and 10 of the past 15 meetings in this series.
06/30 10:41:38 ET