National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Monday, May 28th
(All times Eastern)
St. Louis Cardinals (26-22) at Atlanta Braves (26-23), 1:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: St. Louis - Lance Lynn (7-1, 2.54)
Atlanta - Tommy Hanson (5-3, 3.12)
(Sports Network) - As the losses pile up for the Atlanta Braves, so does their
fall from the top of the National League East standings.
The currently-slumping Braves have lost seven in a row and 10 of 14 games, and
were swept in back-to-back series by Cincinnati and Washington. In Sunday's
7-2 loss to the Nationals in the finale of a three-game series from Turner
Field, Brandon Beachy was dealt the loss for allowing three runs -- one earned
-- in five innings and Livan Hernandez did not better in relief, yielding four
runs in three frames.
Michael Bourn scored both runs for the Braves, who have to record a win on
their six-game homestand. The Braves once led the NL East and are now four
games behind Washington for the top spot.
"It's tough to struggle. I think everyone in every team kind of has their
skids, but we've got some guys banged up right now that are pretty key pieces
to our team. We're just trying to get healthy and continuing to go out there
and play hard," Braves shortstop Tyler Pastornicky said.
Braves catcher Brian McCann could return to action today and has been
sidelined with a case of the flu. Backup catcher David Ross remains sidelined
by a right groin strain and J.C. Boscan is expected to remain behind the plate
if McCann and Ross are still unavailable.
Tommy Hanson will try to pitch the Braves back into the win column when he
toes the rubber Monday. Hanson is 2-0 in his past three starts and 4-1 in his
previous five decisions. He did not record a decision in last Wednesday's 2-1
loss at the Reds and surrendered only one run in six innings. The right-hander
is 5-3 with a 3.12 earned run average in 10 starts this season.
Hanson defeated St. Louis on May 13 with five innings of one-run ball in a 7-4
victory at Busch Stadium. He is 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA in two career starts
against the Cardinals.
St. Louis hasn't played so well either and will kick off a 10-game road trip
today against the Braves, Mets and Astros. The Cardinals avoided a four-game
sweep with Sunday's 8-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. They received
some added assistance when Phillies starter Roy Halladay left the game early
with right shoulder soreness.
The Cardinals got four runs on Yadier Molina's grand slam in the first inning
and four hits in two innings off Halladay, while Adam Wainwright held
Philadelphia to a run in six innings for the win. Carlos Beltran hit a three-
run homer and Matt Adams hit his first career home run for St. Louis, which
ended a three-game slide and won just the fourth time in 11 tries. The
Cardinals once owned the top spot in the NL Central, but now sit 1 1/2 games
behind Cincinnati. Beltran leads the NL with 15 homers this season.
Molina had to leave the game during an at-bat in the fifth inning because of
dehydration, but said he felt fine afterwards.
"I was seeing three pitchers at once," Molina admitted. "That wasn't a good
feeling. I felt kind of dizzy. This is the first time something like this has
happened and I'm glad it wasn't any worse."
The defending World Series champion Cardinals will hand the ball to Lance Lynn
this afternoon and he is one of six pitchers with seven wins this season. Lynn
has pitched well in Chris Carpenter's absence and won his most recent outing
after going 0-1 in the previous two.
In a 6-3 win over the Padres last Wednesday, Lynn allowed three runs and eight
hits in six innings to improve to 7-1 in nine starts with a 2.54 ERA. The
right-hander, who has permitted 10 runs over his last three starts, will face
Atlanta for the second in his career and this season. He was beaten by the
BRaves back on May 13 in a 7-4 decision and gave up three runs in six innings.
Lynn is 4-0 in five starts on the road this season.
Atlanta swept a three-game set in St. Louis from May 11-13.
05/28 10:36:39 ET