|4:15 PM PT5:15 PM MT6:15 PM CT7:15 PM ET19:15 ET23:15 GMT7:15 4:15 PM MST6:15 PM EST6:45 PM VEN3:15 UAE (+1)6:15 PM CT, August 10, 2019
Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri Attendance: 45,026
Cardinals hope to keep picking on Pirates
The St. Louis Cardinals have stayed in the playoff chase at the expense of the staggering Pittsburgh Pirates, winning seven of the past eight head-to-head meetings.
St. Louis hopes to continue that trend Saturday during the second game of a three-game series at Busch Stadium.
The Cardinals beat the Pirates 6-2 Friday night to move within three games of the first-place Chicago Cubs in the National League Central. That victory came on the heels of an 0-5 West Coast swing that forced St. Louis to regroup during a day off Thursday.
"We had five losses, a couple of close games," Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "We didn't play our best this week. Hopefully, take an off day and come out and play better. We have to keep it going and now do that for every day for the rest of the year.
"I think if we can play well this last month and a half, two months, we've got a good shot to make the playoffs."
Both teams are trying to get key hitters locked in again. Goldschmidt broke an 0-for-15 slump with two singles Friday, including the decisive hit in the eighth inning.
Pirates first baseman Josh Bell hit two doubles and scored both Pirates runs. He took the two previous games off after starting August with two hits in 13 at-bats, and his slump extended back further. Bell batted .208 in June and .218 in July.
The Cardinals' scheduled Saturday starting pitcher, Adam Wainwright (7-8, 4.50 ERA), is seeking sharper command after walking 10 batters in 16 innings over his last three starts.
He earned the victory in his July 24 start at Pittsburgh as the Cardinals outslugged the Pirates 14-8. However, Wainwright needed 106 pitches to get 15 outs and he allowed four runs on five hits and four walks.
Wainwright is 1-0 with a 5.06 ERA in three starts against the Pirates this season and 14-7 with a 4.41 ERA in 40 career appearances (34 starts) against them.
He is coming off a 4-2 loss in Oakland on Sunday, when he allowed three runs on six hits and three walks in 5 1/3 innings. Wainwright struck out seven.
The Pirates, who have lost 22 of 26 games since the All-Star break, will start Joe Musgrove (8-10, 4.69 ERA) on Saturday.
The right-hander plans to use a custom Infinity Gauntlet glove, inspired by the popular "Avengers" movie series. He might hope it brings him super powers because he's had a tough time against the Cardinals.
Musgrove is 0-3 with a 12.08 ERA in three starts against St. Louis this season. He is 1-5 with a 7.39 ERA and 12 walks in 31 2/3 innings in six career starts against the Cardinals.
In his last start against St. Louis, the Pirates fell 6-3 on July 25. Musgrove allowed three homers and six runs (five earned) in five innings.
In his most recent start on Sunday, he struggled with a stiff back as the Mets shelled him for eight runs on 10 hits in 3 1/3 innings in a 13-2 Pittsburgh loss.
"At times, the stuff just didn't have good finish to it, and they took advantage of it," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle told reporters after that game. "Some ground balls found holes, but balls found the other side of the fence, too. A combination of everything."
Musgrove takes pride in battling through aches and pains to become a workhorse for the Pittsburgh staff.
"My goal this year is to make 32 starts and be healthy and take the ball when it's my turn," he told reporters. "Knock on wood. I haven't had anything set that back yet.
"Ultimately, you don't want to just run out there and pitch to pitch. I want to be successful and provide my team with a chance to win."
--Field Level Media
Updated August 10, 2019