The St. Louis Cardinals are looking to shake off a bad week and get back into the race for first place in the Nationals League Central. The Cardinals went 2-4 on a six-game trip last week and will try to turn things around when they get home and host the San Diego Padres in the first of three contests on Tuesday.
The Cardinals can point to the pitching as the root of their recent downturn, and the staff allowed at least five runs in each of the last 11 games. Starter Mike Leake lasted only three innings on Sunday’s 6-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates at the Little League Classic in Williamsport, Pa, after Michael Wacha went four innings in Saturday’s 6-4 setback, and Monday’s off day provides a welcome respite for the overworked bullpen. The Padres offense is just the thing a struggling staff likes to see and it managed a total of six runs while dropping three of four to the Washington Nationals over the weekend. San Diego, which is last in the majors in runs scored with 471, will try to provide some support on Tuesday for lefty Clayton Richard, who goes up against St. Louis righty Lance Lynn.
TV: 8:15 p.m. ET, FSN San Diego, FSN Midwest (St. Louis)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Padres LH Clayton Richard (6-12, 4.84 ERA) vs. Cardinals RH Lance Lynn (10-6, 3.05)
San Diego won’t need to score many runs if Richard is able to replicate his last start, in which he scattered three hits in a shutout of the Philadelphia Phillies. The 33-year-old went at least six innings in each of his last five outings and snapped a string of 10 straight winless starts against the Phillies. Richard is 3-1 with a 4.08 ERA in 12 career appearances - five starts - against St. Louis.
Lynn allowed two or fewer earned runs in each of his last nine outings and lasted at least six innings in the last eight. The Indiana native is struggling with his control a bit of late and issued a total of 16 walks in 24 innings over his last four starts. Lynn is seeing San Diego for the first time this season and is 3-2 with a 2.70 ERA in five career starts against the Padres.
1. Padres 1B Wil Myers is 4-for-24 over the last eight games.
2. Cardinals SS Paul DeJong went 0-for-5 on Sunday, snapping a nine-game hitting streak in which he homered four times.
3. St. Louis C Yadier Molina is 7-for-18 with three doubles in his last four games.
PREDICTION: Cardinals 5, Padres 2