The St. Louis Cardinals are trying to pull out of their recent tailspin and remain in the National League Central race. After snapping a three-game skid, the Cardinals look to take the rubber match of their three-game series against the visiting San Diego Padres on Thursday.
The Cardinals evened the series with a 6-2 win Wednesday, but they’ve still lost six of nine games since pulling into a tie atop the division on Aug. 12 - slipping 4 1/2 games behind the first-place Chicago Cubs in the process. Luke Weaver struck out 10 over seven dominant innings Wednesday to help the Cardinals snap a streak of 12 straight games allowing five or more runs. St. Louis ace Carlos Martinez squares off against Luis Perdomo in a matchup of Dominican right-handers in the finale. The Cardinals have won seven of the last eight meetings with San Diego dating to last season.
TV: 7:15 p.m. ET, FSN San Diego, FSN Midwest (St. Louis)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Padres RH Luis Perdomo (6-8, 4.93 ERA) vs. Cardinals RH Carlos Martinez (10-9, 3.57)
Perdomo has lost his last two starts and three of his last four. The 24-year-old has only three quality starts over his last nine outings, and his defense let him down while allowing at least two unearned runs in two of them. Perdomo’s only appearance against the Cardinals was a relief stint last season in which he allowed three runs and four hits over one inning.
Martinez has won his last three starts and four of his last five, and he’s 4-1 with a 4.00 ERA in seven starts since the All-Star break. The 25-year-old recorded his third straight quality start Friday at Pittsburgh, allowing three runs over seven innings. Martinez is 1-1 with a 4.63 ERA in six games (three starts) against the Padres.
1. Cardinals 2B Kolten Wong (11-for-26) and C Yadier Molina (10-for-24) are riding six-game hitting streaks.
2. The Padres are 50-1 when leading after eight innings and 2-60 when trailing after eight.
3. St. Louis 3B Jedd Gyorko has at least one RBI in eight straight games against San Diego with seven homers and 16 RBIs in those contests.
PREDICTION: Cardinals 6, Padres 3