After a sluggish first half, Brandon Crawford is reminding everyone why the San Francisco Giants considered the dynamic shortstop untouchable at the July 31 trade deadline. Crawford is hitting .411 with 13 extra-base hits over his last 16 games for the cellar-dwelling Giants, who continue their four-game series against the visiting St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday afternoon.
Crawford went 3-for-5 with a two-run homer on Friday, but it wasn’t enough to slow down St. Louis, which rolled to an 11-6 victory and sits six games behind the first-place Chicago Cubs in the National League Central and four back of Colorado for the second wild-card spot. The Giants have dropped 10 of their last 13 games and will shut down reliever Mark Melancon soon so the closer can undergo elbow surgery and begin to get ready for spring training. St. Louis has won three of its last four and hopes to have Tommy Pham back in the lineup after he missed Friday’s game with a swollen thumb. Randal Grichuk has homered in three straight games for the Cardinals, who have seven players with at least 15 blasts.
TV: 4:05 p.m. ET, FS1, FSN Midwest (St. Louis), NBCSN Bay Area (San Francisco)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Cardinals RH Lance Lynn (10-6, 3.14 ERA) vs. Giants LH Chris Stratton (2-3, 3.82)
Lynn has gone four straight starts without recording a decision after allowing two runs and six hits over seven innings against Tampa Bay on Sunday. The 27-year-old has been remarkably consistent in his last 11 starts, going 4-1 with a 2.13 ERA since July 1. Buster Posey is 4-for-8 with a home run against Lynn, who is facing San Francisco for the first time since 2015 and owns a 1-4 record and 4.76 ERA in five career starts against the Giants.
Stratton saw his two-game winning streak come to an end Sunday against Arizona despite allowing two runs with 10 strikeouts and five walks over six frames in an 11-0 loss. The 27-year-old has bolstered his case for a spot in the rotation next season by going 2-1 with a 0.96 ERA and 21 strikeouts over his last three starts. Stratton, who is facing the Cardinals for the first time, has issued at least four walks in three of his five starts this season.
1. San Francisco LF Jarrett Parker exited Friday’s game with left side tightness and will have an MRI on Saturday.
2. St. Louis recalled RHP Jack Flaherty, RHP Sandy Alcantara, OF Harrison Bader, INF Alex Mejia and C Alberto Rosario from Triple-A Memphis.
3. The Giants recalled LHP Steven Okert, UTIL Orlando Calixte and RHP Derek Law from Triple-A Sacramento and purchased the contract of C Tim Federowicz from the River Cats.
PREDICTION: Cardinals 7, Giants 3