National League Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, April 21st (All times Eastern)
St. Louis Cardinals (10-4) at Pittsburgh Pirates (5-8), 7:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: St. Louis - Jake Westbrook (2-0, 0.64) Pittsburgh - A.J. Burnett (0-0, 0.00)
(Sports Network) - Veteran right-hander Jake Westbrook can continue a career resurgence in start No. 3 of 2012 tonight when the St. Louis Cardinals return to PNC Park for the second game of a three-game weekend series with the Pittsburgh Pirates, who will send A.J. Burnett to the mound for the first time this season.
Westbrook, a 34-year-old Georgian who made his major-league debut 12 years ago with the New York Yankees, was 12-9 in 33 starts last season - his first full year with the St. Louis Cardinals.
He split 2010 with the Cleveland Indians and Cardinals and went 10-11. Previously, he had not reached double-digit wins since claiming 15 victories with Cleveland back in 2006.
In two starts thus far in April he's allowed just one earned run in two outings, tossing 14 innings while allowing just seven hits and holding opposition batters to a stingy .146 average.
St. Louis has won both his starts, defeating Cincinnati and Chicago while outscoring their foes, 17-4.
Westbrook is 0-3 in eight career meetings with Pittsburgh.
For the Pirates, Burnett will take the place of Kevin Correia, who was scratched because of discomfort in his left side.
Burnett will make his Pirates debut after being activated off the 15-day disabled list. He had been sidelined since early in spring training with a fractured right orbital bone, an injury that occurred when he fouled a ball off during a bunting drill.
After undergoing surgery on March 2, Burnett began a rehab program a week later and eventually made a total of three rehab starts -- the last one coming with Triple-A Indianapolis on Monday night.
Burnett was acquired by the Pirates this past winter from the New York Yankees and was expected to be Pittsburgh's Opening Day starter. He spent three seasons in New York and helped the Yankees to a World Series title in 2009.
In 33 games, including 32 starts, last season, Burnett went 11-11 with a 5.15 earned run average.
In Friday's opener, Lance Lynn tossed seven strong innings and scored the go- ahead run for St. Louis as the Cardinals took a 4-1 victory.
Lynn (3-0) allowed two hits and a run, on an inside-the-park homer from Alex Presley in the first inning, but stifled the Pirates over the next six, yielding just two hits the rest of the way while fanning four.
"He just looked in control," said St. Louis manager Mike Matheny about Lynn. "He settled down (after the first) and found his groove and didn't really look back."
Jason Motte worked around a leadoff walk in the ninth to record his third save of the year. Carlos Beltran tallied two hits and knocked in a run and Daniel Descalso added a solo shot for St. Louis, which has won five of six.
Pittsburgh's Charlie Morton (0-1) surrendered two runs - one earned - on four hits and three walks in a five-inning start.
St. Louis was 9-7 versus the Pirates last season.
04/21 16:49:36 ET