The St. Louis Cardinals will try to rebuild offensive momentum when they host the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday night.
After rolling through a 6-0 road trip against the Pittsburgh Pirates and Kansas City Royals, the Cardinals returned home and lost four of six games against the Milwaukee Brewers and Pirates.
After scoring four or more runs in 11 straight games, they have been shut out twice during this homestand. They were 4-for-25 hitting with runners in scoring position against the Pirates.
“First of all, it was a real positive — 29 hits in three games — traffic all over the place,” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said. “Super frustration we weren’t able to cash in — if we do, we win all three. I don’t think it’s any secret about that, because we pitched and played well enough to do that.”
The Cardinals fell 4 1/2 games back of the Cincinnati Reds through Sunday’s games in the race for the second National League wild-card slot.
They will start Jack Flaherty (9-1, 2.68 ERA) in the opener of this two-game interleague set at Busch Stadium. He is 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA in two starts since recovering from the strained oblique muscle that sidelined him for 2 1/2 months.
Flaherty allowed two homers in six innings in his last start against the Brewers, which Milwaukee ultimately won 6-4 in 10 innings.
“In the middle of that there game was a grind,” Flaherty said. “The first couple (innings) were good and then, just lost the feel for some stuff and really had to grind to make pitches and get out of it.”
He is 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA in two career starts against the Tigers.
The Tigers will start Casey Mize (6-6, 3.69), who is 0-1 with a 6.08 ERA in three starts this month. He walked four batters in four innings in his last start, a game the Tigers ultimately lost 8-2 to the Los Angeles Angels.
“Not very sharp at all,” is how Mize assessed that outing.
This will be his first career start against the Cardinals.
The Cardinals will have left-handed pitcher Kwang Hyun Kim available in the bullpen for this series as he tries to rebuild arm strength. Elbow soreness landed him on the 10-day injured list.
“He’d prefer to start,” Shildt said. “People that are used to starting and certain roles want to keep the roles because that’s the competitor in them. He was honest about that, which I appreciated. But what I also appreciated was that he’s very much a team guy. He understands the situation.”
Cardinals outfielder Dylan Carlson is eligible to come off the 10-day IL, but he is still recovering from a wrist sprain.
The Tigers promoted reliever Alex Lange from Triple-A Toledo to replace starting pitcher Wily Peralta, who landed on the 10-day IL Sunday with a finger blister.
They may also activate pitcher Jose Urena from the 10-day IL this week as he continues his recovery from a groin muscle strain.
“Urena’s next three innings, as we’re building him up to at least 50 pitches or more, is that better served in Triple-A or is it better served here?” Tigers manager AJ Hinch said.
–Field Level Media