National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, May 11th
(All times Eastern)
Atlanta Braves (19-13) at St. Louis Cardinals (20-11), 8:15 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Atlanta - Mike Minor (2-2, 5.97)
St. Louis - Jaime Garcia (2-2, 3.76)
(Sports Network) - He's no Albert Pujols, but St. Louis veteran outfielder
Carlos Beltran has been slugging his way into the hearts of Cardinals fans.
Beltran and the National League Central-leading Cardinals will return to the
Gateway City tonight to open a five-game homestand with the first of three
versus the Atlanta Braves. St. Louis went 4-2 on a six-game road trip against
Houston and Arizona, and is coming off a three-game sweep of the Diamondbacks.
In Wednesday's 7-2 victory in the desert, Allen Craig homered, Matt Holliday
had two hits and two RBI and Rafael Furcal finished with four hits and a run
scored. David Freese ended 3-for-4 and scored a run, while Beltran drove in a
run and also scored for the Cardinals, who have won nine of 13 games. Beltran
is riding a five-game hitting streak with three homers and nine RBI in that
time. He is batting .284 this season to go along with 10 homers and 27 RBI.
"It's nice to come in here and finish (the sweep) off and get out of here on a
good note," said Cardinals manager Mike Matheny.
Cardinals starter Kyle Lohse gave up just one run on seven hits in five
innings of work and added a base hit and a run scored at the plate. Jason
Motte tossed a perfect ninth inning for his sixth save.
Former Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, who won two World Series titles with
the club, will have his No. 10 jersey retired tonight in a pre-game ceremony.
It will be the 12th number retired in Cardinals history.
"Tony was at the helm of one of those great eras. Tony's success here speaks
for itself. He's just a giant in the game of baseball, a sure-fire Hall of
Famer," Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright told the team's website. "He brought
a lot to this organization and this club and taught us a lot as players. It's
St. Louis is scheduled to host the Chicago Cubs for two games on the residency
and will place pitching duties on Jaime Garcia Friday night. Garcia has lost
his last two starts after opening the year 2-0 with a 2.49 ERA in his first
four outings, and had his worst appearance of the year in Saturday's 8-2 loss
at Houston. He was tagged for six runs and four hits over six innings.
Garcia, a left-hander, will make his fourth career start against Atlanta and
is 2-0 with a 2.84 ERA through the first three.
Atlanta will begin its last leg of a nine-game road trip and dropped two of
three matchups to the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
The Braves, who are one-half game out of first in the NL East, suffered a 1-0
loss Wednesday on Bryan LaHair's RBI single in the seventh inning with two
outs. Braves starter Tim Hudson was saddled with the loss despite tossing
seven innings and allowing five hits. Martin Prado had a team-best two hits
for Atlanta, which entered the game having won five of seven games.
"It was just unfortunate today, we couldn't really get anything going. And
when we did, we hit a ball right at somebody," said Braves third baseman
Michael Bourn (0-for-4) had a 12-game hitting streak snapped.
Getting the ball for the Braves tonight will be Mike Minor and he is 2-2 with
a 5.97 earned run average in six starts this season. He is 0-1 in his previous
three appearances since posting back-to-back victories and did not record a
decision in Saturday's 13-9 win at Colorado in which he allowed eight runs and
10 hits in five innings. Minor has been banged around a bit lately, yielding a
total of 18 runs in the past three starts.
Minor is 1-1 in four starts on the road and will face St. Louis for just the
second time in his career. The right-hander started against the Cardinals on
Sept. 10, 2010 in an 8-6 Atlanta win and did not figure into the outcome after
permitting four runs and seven hits in five innings.
Atlanta and St. Louis are meeting for the first time since the Cardinals took
five of six encounters a year ago. St. Louis is 11-3 in the past 14 matchups
between the two ballclubs.
05/11 10:42:45 ET