National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, May 4th
(All times Eastern)
St. Louis Cardinals (16-9) at Houston Astros (11-14, 8:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: St. Louis - Kyle Lohse (4-0, 1.62)
Houston - Lucas Harrell (1-2, 4.71)
(Sports Network) - Kyle Lohse goes after his fifth win of the season this
evening when the St. Louis Cardinals open a three-game series with the Houston
Astros at Minute Maid Park.
Lohse, who led the defending world champion Cardinals in wins last season, is
off to another terrific start, winning his first four decisions, while
pitching to a stingy 1.62 earned run average.
He won his second straight start on Saturday against Milwaukee, but had his
worst outing of the season, as he allowed three runs and six hits and walked
Lohse has faced the Astros 16 times (15 starts) and is 8-7 with a 2.81 ERA.
St. Louis was denied a sweep in its series with the Pittsburgh Pirates on
Thursday, as it dropped a 6-3 decision at Busch Stadium. Allen Craig drove in
two runs and David Freese added a run-scoring double for the Cardinals, who
lost for just the second time in their last seven.
Jake Westbrook (3-2) was touched for nine hits and four runs over 6 1/3 frames
"We're not thinking about winning a series, we're not thinking about sweeps,
we're thinking about winning today's game," said Cardinals manager Mike
Matheny. "That's the way we're going to continue going about it."
While St. Louis was unable to get the brooms out, Houston did just that in its
series with the New York Mets on Wednesday, as Chris Johnson hit two home runs
and knocked in a career-high six runs to help the Astros to an 8-1 win.
"This is probably my best day in the major leagues so far. This is something
I'll never forget," said Johnson.
Wandy Rodriguez (3-2) allowed one run on six hits and two walks while striking
out five over seven innings for Houston, which took all three games of a
series against New York for the first time since August 1-3, 2008.
Hoping to keep the momentum rolling for the Astros tonight will be righty
Lucas Harrell, who has lost his last two starts. Harrell fell to 1-2 on the
year on Saturday in Cincinnati, as he gave up six runs (five earned) and nine
hits in six innings to raise his ERA to 4.71.
This will be Harrell's first-ever start against the Cardinals.
"When you open a series, you want to set the tone," said Harrell. "Hopefully I
can go out there and get ahead of guys, get a lot of ground balls, use my
fastball in and use it out, and get a lot of early contact and go deep into
the game. Give our team a chance to win. We've been playing well."
St. Louis was 10-5 against the Astros last season.
05/04 10:39:56 ET