National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, August 7th
(All times eastern)
San Francisco Giants (59-50) at St. Louis Cardinals (60-49), 8:15 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: San Francisco - Barry Zito (8-8, 4.27)
St. Louis - Lance Lynn (13-4, 3.40)
(Sports Network) - The St. Louis Cardinals are beginning to heat up and have
won four of their last five series.
They will try to move closer to another series win tonight when they resume a
four-game set versus the San Francisco Giants at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals
posted a three-game sweep of Milwaukee over the weekend, before handing the
Giants an 8-2 loss in Monday's series opener.
Carlos Beltran homered, Jon Jay went 4-for-4 with two RBI and both David
Freese and Matt Carpenter added two runs batted in for St. Louis, winners in
13 of the past 17 games. The defending World Series champions are unbeaten in
their last seven games at Busch Stadium and sit just 2 1/2 games off a Wild
Card spot with plenty of time remaining.
Cardinals starter Jake Westbrook earned his 11th win of the season (11-8) by
holding San Francisco to a pair of runs in six innings. Edward Mujica,
Fernando Salas and Brian Fuentes combined to throw three scoreless innings of
relief to preserve the victory.
"He did a nice job, was down in the zone," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said
The Cardinals are heating up in August and 15-13 in the month last year en
route to another championship. They started August with a 5-2 mark in 2011.
Beltran is riding an eight-game hitting streak and is second in the National
League with 26 home runs.
Looking to pitch the Cardinals to their 13th home win in 14 tries tonight will
be Lance Lynn. Lynn has turned heads this season starting in place of injured
ace Chris Carpenter and is 3-0 in his past five starts. He tossed six innings
of two-run ball the previous time out in an 8-2 triumph at Colorado, striking
out four and walking four batters.
Lynn is 13-4 with a 3.40 earned run average in 21 starts and lost his only
career start against the Giants last June 2. In a 12-7 loss to San Francisco,
Lynn allowed five runs in 5 1/3 innings. The right-hander has won six of his
eight starts at home this season.
San Francisco was fortunate that both Los Angeles and Arizona lost last night
to maintain its slim lead atop the NL West standings. The club is just one-
half game ahead of Los Angeles and four in front of Arizona.
The Giants were coming off a three-game weekend sweep of Colorado before
dropping last night's series opener to St. Louis. Matt Cain didn't have his
best stuff and was reached for five runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings.
"I thought he competed well tonight," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "Give
them credit, that's a good-hitting ball club. He was a hit away from it being
a one-run ballgame and he's done and it's a quality start."
Buster Posey and Angel Pagan both homered for the Giants, who have lost eight
of their last 12 games. Posey has homered four times in his last five games
and leads the majors with a .458 average and 27 RBI since the All-Star break.
San Francisco entered Monday's game averaging 5.08 runs per game on the road
this season, the highest average in the NL.
Taking the mound for the Giants tonight will be left-hander Barry Zito. Zito
is just 3-6 in his last nine decisions and lasted just 4 1/3 innings in a 9-1
loss to the New York Mets last Thursday. The southpaw allowed seven runs on
six hits and three walks to drop to 8-8 with a 4.27 ERA in 21 starts, and has
given up 14 runs over his past three trips to the hill.
"My timing was off, so my command was erratic today," Zito said after the
start. "At times it was there, but at times the ball was up in the zone, and I
wasn't commanding my off-speed [pitches] like I usually do."
Zito, the 2002 AL Cy Young Award winner with Oakland, hasn't fared too well in
his career against St. Louis, going 1-6 with a 5.23 ERA in eight starts.
The Cardinals and Giants split two games at AT&T Park back in May, but San
Francisco has won six of the past 10 meetings between the clubs.
08/07 10:49:39 ET