The San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals meet up for the final game of its four-game series at Busch Stadium Thursday night
San Francisco Giants at St. Louis Cardinals
San Francisco tallied a 7-5 comeback win in St. Louis last night by amassing a season-high 16 hits, eclipsing the 15 it had versus the Cardinals in the April 8 AT&T opener. Three of the squad’s four victories over St. Louis this season have been last-at-bat decisions against Cardinals reliever Ryan Franklin. The Giants have played close games all year, as 45 of the club’s first 55 games have been decided by three runs-or-less, most such games by any team in the Majors this year. The club is 3-3 heading into its final game of a seven-game road trip. San Francisco is 20-12 in night games this season and 148-111 in that situation the past three years.
Giants starting pitcher Jonathan Sanchez is scheduled to make his 12th start of the season and has posted a 3-3 record and 3.38 ERA. The left-hander has held opponents to a .204 batting average, which ranks second-lowest in the National League. Sanchez has had little luck tallying wins on the road this year, registering a 1-3 mark and 3.50 ERA in six outings away from the Bay Area, issuing 23 walks in 36 innings. In four career appearances (three starts) versus the Cardinals, he is a perfect 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA, including a 5-4 no-decision victory at home on April 8. The 28-year-old allowed a single run and four hits over five innings in that start.
St. Louis aims for a split in this particular four-game series and will likely place outfielder Matt Holliday on the disabled list. The slugger will certainly be missed, currently leading the National League with a .342 average, but will be out with a injured quadriceps. Fellow outfielder Lance Berkman will likely be the candidate to fill his spot in the lineup hitting cleanup, but he is suffering through an 0-for-12 slump. The Cardinals were looking good entering the ninth inning in last night’s contest only to see Fernando Salas blow his first save in 11 chances. It was a disappointing ending to a night that saw the offense chase San Francisco ace Tim Lincecum, who ultimately allowed a season-high 10 hits. St. Louis still leads Milwaukee in the National League Central by 2 1/2 games and is 8-7 versus left-handers this year.
Cardinals starting pitcher Lance Lynn will make his Major League debut tonight due to hurlers Kyle McClellan being placed on the disabled list and Jaime Garcia being bumped back a day due to expressions of fatigue. The right-hander went 5-3 with a 4.06 ERA and 54 strikeouts in 10 starts for Triple-A Memphis prior to his promotion. His debut does not come under ideal conditions, operating on short rest after pitching Sunday for Memphis. “Everything’s positive on that. We wouldn’t make the move, wouldn’t bring him up if it wasn’t positive,” said general manager John Mozeliak.
Bettors will likely back the Cardinals due to their 5-0 record following a loss, while the Giants are 2-5 in Sanchez’s last seven road starts