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A nine-game stretch against the National League’s three last-place teams — Miami Womens Ben Roethlisberger Jersey , Cincinnati and San Diego — seemed like a chance for the St. Louis Cardinals to fatten their record and make a surge up the National League Central ladder.

Instead, St. Louis wasn’t even able to tread water. It went 4-5 in that span, including consecutive 4-2 losses Tuesday and Wednesday night to a San Diego Padres team that currently looks like a cellar-dweller in name only, having won five straight series.

Now the Cardinals (36-30) will have to get their work done against better teams. Beginning with the opener of a three-game series Friday night in Busch Stadium against the Chicago Cubs (38-27), they play 19 straight games against teams that currently have winning records.

What’s more, they’ll play this weekend without their most consistent hitter, first baseman Jose Martinez, who leads the team in all three Triple Crown categories (.321 average, 10 HR, 42 RBIs). He’ll miss the series on paternity leave in Venezuela.

“It’s a big series for us, but that’s a monumental life event,” St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said.

Luke Voit will be recalled from Double-A Springfield to replace Martinez on the roster. The big right-handed hitter could get a couple of starts this weekend as Chicago will trot out left-handed starters Jon Lester and Jose Quintana.

Lester (7-2, 2.22 ERA) gets the call in the series opener, which, if this year’s form is any indication Youth Le'Veon Bell Jersey , may become a pitcher’s duel. He’ll be opposed by right-hander Michael Wacha (8-1, 2.47), who will seek his ninth straight win.

Lester is coming off a 2-0 win Saturday at Wrigley Field against Pittsburgh, allowing only one hit in seven innings with two walks and five strikeouts. In his last eight starts, Lester is 5-1 with a 1.63 ERA, and he hasn’t permitted a run in his two starts this month.

He’s 1-0 in two starts this year against the Cardinals, permitting only two earned runs in 11 1/3 innings. In his career against St. Louis, Lester is 6-4 with a 2.22 ERA in 16 starts, limiting hitters to a .220/.282/.344 slash line.

Wacha hasn’t lost since March 31 against the New York Mets and is building a case for his second All-Star appearance. In his last start on Saturday, Wacha beat Cincinnati 6-4, permitting four hits and two runs in 5 2/3 innings with three walks and six whiffs.

He has faced the Cubs once this year, working 5 1/3 innings and yielding two runs (one earned) on May 6 in a no-decision as the Cardinals won 4-3 in 14 innings. But Wacha has been rocked most of his career against Chicago, as he’s 4-7 with a 6.12 ERA in 17 outings, including 15 starts.

Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo has had his way with Wacha, going 18-of-40 in his career with three homers. Chicago teammates Ian Happ Womens Le'Veon Bell Jersey , Kris Bryant and Willson Contreras also have two homers each against Wacha.

The Cubs lost two of three in Milwaukee this week, suffering 4-0 and 1-0 losses in the series’ final two games and falling 1 1/2 games behind the Brewers in the Central.

“We almost should be grateful we won one of three,” Chicago manager Joe Maddon said. “We played well the first game, then shutout, shutout.”

TORONTO — The Toronto Blue Jays continue to wait for the return of third baseman Josh Donaldson from tightness in his left calf.

He did not play in the opener of the three-game series against the Washington Nationals on Friday night, a 6-5 Toronto win, and he is not expected to play in the second game on Saturday at the Rogers Centre.

The Nationals (37-29) will start right-hander Max Scherzer (10-2, 2.00 ERA), and the Blue Jays (31-38) will start right-hander Marco Estrada (3-5, 4.33).

Scherzer is 4-1 with a 2.15 ERA in eight career starts against the Blue Jays.

A sixth-round draft pick by the Nationals in 2005, Estrada is 2-1 with a 4.34 ERA in six career starts against Washington.

Meanwhile, Yangervis Solarte, the player who often fills in at third for Donaldson when he is not playing shortstop or second base, did well Friday night.

Solarte hit two home runs against the Nationals — a two-run shot and a solo blast — and added a double. He became the ninth Blue Jays batter to hit home runs from each side of the plate in a game. It is the second time in his career that the switch-hitter has homered from each side of the plate in a game. He has 14 homers and 40 RBIs for the season.

By defeating Washington starter Gio Gonzalez, who allowed a season-high five runs in six-plus innings Youth Ryan Shazier Jersey , the Blue Jays ended a streak of 11 straight losses when opposing a left-handed starter. It was the longest such streak in franchise history. Their previous long drought against left-handed starter was eight losses in a row in 1993.

Donaldson was eligible to return from the disabled list a week ago but has not played because he has been unable to run well enough during drills at the Rogers Centre on Thursday, an off-day in the schedule.

“I was here watching him (Thursday) when he was running the bases, and he still couldn’t cut it loose,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. “That’s all I’ve got. He’s feeling better, but he’s still a little bit hesitant.”

He has been on the DL since May 29. The Blue Jays are 6-9 in the games he has missed. He probably will need a rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Buffalo before returning.

“I think he needs to go down and at least play a game and test it,” Gibbons said. “Game-like conditions. I think that would be smart.”

The Nationals lost first baseman Matt Adams when he took a pitch off his left index finger on a foul bunt attempt in the second inning. He finished the at-bat and struck out. He played in the field in the bottom of the second before being replaced by Mark Reynolds. The finger was swollen and will be re-evaluated Saturday.

“It’s just part of the game, stuff like this happens,” Adams said. “Come in tomorrow and get some treatment and see how it feels.”

The Nationals did have some good news from the game Friday. Daniel Murphy picked up his first hit of the season, an RBI single in the eighth. It was his third game after being sidelined following right knee surgery.

The Nationals came back Friday with two runs in the eighth after falling behind 6-3 in the seventh and had the potential tying run at third in the ninth.

“I like the way that we didn’t give up, came back, and we had a chance to tie the game at the end,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said.




Posted on November, 08 2018 01:15:29 PM

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