National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, June 5th
(All times Eastern)
St. Louis Cardinals (28-27) at Houston Astros (23-31), 8:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: St. Louis - Jaime Garcia (3-3, 3.78)
Houston - Lucas Harrell (4-4, 4.71)
(Sports Network) - Both the Cardinals and Astros were able to halt lengthy
losing streaks their last time out. However, one club will fall right back
into the loss column this evening when St. Louis and Houston open up a three-
The Cardinals used the bat of Allen Craig to halt a season-high five-game
slide with Monday's 5-4 win over the Mets. Craig had an RBI single in the
fourth and connected on a two-run homer in the eighth frame.
"I was just trying to drive the ball, the pitch was a little up," Craig said.
"I was trying to stay simple and I got a really good pitch to hit."
St. Louis avoided getting swept in four games by the Mets and had been held to
just one run over the first three contests. New York set the tone for the
series with Johan Santana's no-hitter in Friday's opener.
"It was a big win for us to get out of here and avoid the sweep," said starter
Kyle Lohse, who gave up a run on two hits over six innings of a no-decision..
"Obviously I would like to get more wins than I've been getting lately, but
there is nothing you can do about that. That's the way it worked out."
St. Louis sits three games back of first-place Cincinnati in the National
League Central, while Houston is 7 1/2 games off the pace after snapping an
eight-game slide with Sunday's 5-3 victory over the Reds.
Justin Maxwell connected on a pinch-hit, two-run homer, while Jason Castro,
Marwin Gonzalez and Jordan Schafer all drove in runs in Houston's first
victory since May 25.
Jordan Lyles gave up two runs on five hits and struck out three over seven
frames to earn the win, while Brett Myers hurled a perfect ninth inning for
his 13th save.
"[Lyles] was absolutely outstanding, from jump street," Houston manager Brad
Mills said. "[Saturday] we were lamenting about how many first-inning runs we
were giving up. He came right out and shut them down and started making
pitches from jump street, and it was necessary."
Recent birthday boy Lucas Harrell will follow up Lyles' outing looking to
rebound from his worst start of the season.
Harrell, who turned 27 on Sunday, lost for the first time in three starts on
Wednesday in Colorado as he was drilled for season highs of nine runs and 10
hits over five innings. He served up two homers and walked three in falling to
4-4 with a 4.71 earned run average in 11 starts.
The right-hander did beat the Cardinals at home on May 4, giving up four runs
-- three earned -- over 5 1/3 frames. That is part of his 3-0 record and 2.31
ERA in four outings at Houston this season.
The Cardinals counter with 25-year-old Jamie Garcia, who makes his first start
since May 26 after having an outing skipped due to elbow discomfort. The left-
hander did have an MRI that showed no structural damage.
Garcia is 3-3 with a 3.78 ERA in 10 starts and that includes a loss to Houston
on May 5. He gave up a season-high six runs over six frames, walking four and
allowed four hits, including the only homer he has allowed this season.
Garcia is winless in his career versus the Astros, going 0-4 with a 6.89 ERA
in six starts.
The Astros have won five of their past eight versus the Cardinals, including
two of three at home in early May.
06/05 10:44:20 ET