Preview St. Louis at Pittsburgh
(SportsNetwork.com) - Lance Lynn eyes his 15th win of the season on Tuesday when the St. Louis Cardinals continue their three-game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park.
Lynn won his third straight start on Wednesday against Cincinnati, as he scattered four hits over seven scoreless innings to run his record to 14-8, while lowering his ERA to 2.78.
The Cards have won five of Lynn's seven outings since the All-Star break, and in that span he is 4-2 with a 1.84 ERA and .222 opponents' batting average. He's also allowed just three home runs over his last 21 starts spanning 128 2/3 innings and his 0.40 home runs allowed per nine innings is the second lowest rate in the NL behind teammate Adam Wainwright.
Lynn has faced the Bucs 13 times (11 starts) and is 5-3 with a 4.88 ERA.
Pittsburgh, meanwhile, will counter with righty Gerrit Cole, who was sharp in his return from the disabled list on Wednesday. Cole didn't get a decision versus Atlanta, but surrendered just two runs and five hits over seven innings. He also walked four batters, but helped the Pirates end a seven-game losing streak that night in the team's 3-2 win.
"He had four pitches to go to tonight, very efficient work," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "Really good to see him out on the mound."
Cole had been sidelined for more than a month with a strained right lat. The second-year hurler is 7-4 on the year with a 3.69 ERA.
St. Louis continued to roll on Monday, as Matt Holliday's two-run single capped a three-run seventh inning and the Cardinals rallied past the Pirates, 3-2. Pinch-hitter Jon Jay delivered the tying RBI single for St. Louis, which has won six of its last eight games.
Cardinals starter John Lackey (2-1) pitched seven frames and gave up seven hits, including a second-inning home run to Pedro Alvarez.
"I had good adjustments after the first time through the lineup," Lackey said. "I'm still learning some of these lineups."
Francisco Liriano surrendered four hits and compiled eight strikeouts over six-plus scoreless frames, but Jared Hughes (6-4) yielded three hits in the fateful seventh.
St. Louis, which has won eight of its 14 matchups with the Pirates this season, is 14-9 in August. The 14 victories are more than they had in July and match their total from June. St. Louis has not won more than 15 games in any month this season.