Found June 22, 2013 on
Fox Sports Midwest:
(AP) -- The St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers will both send rookie hurlers to the mound on Saturday night at Busch Stadium, though each has followed a very different path.
St. Louis' Shelby Miller has firmly entrenched himself in the Cardinals' rotation as he ranks among baseball's best pitchers this year. Texas' Martin Perez likely needs to impress in his second start of the season to gain some staying power with his club.
Friday marked these teams' first meeting since St. Louis' seven-game victory in the 2011 World Series. While the stakes were much lower, this time it was the Rangers (42-32) using some late-game heroics to upend the Cardinals (47-27), with Nelson Cruz's two-run single in the ninth inning proving to be the difference in a 6-4 victory.
"Obviously, there are memories of the stadium and memories of the field and stuff like that, but this is a different year and we're trying to win a series and continue to play good baseball," Texas' Ian Kinsler said of the team's first trip back to St. Louis.
The Rangers, who trailed 3-0 before recording an out, chased Cardinals starter Tyler Lyons after 1 23 innings. Similar success against Miller (8-4, 2.08 ERA) should prove to be much more difficult, as he leads all rookies in wins and owns one of baseball's best ERAs.
Though Saturday marks his first outing against an AL opponent, Miller has been especially reliable in Busch Stadium, going 5-1 in seven starts with a 0.99 ERA - one of the top three home marks among all qualifying starting pitchers.
He was on his way to another strong showing Monday, yielding two hits through five scoreless innings against the Cubs. Miller then left due to cramps in his right leg, though he earned the victory in St. Louis' 5-2 win.
"He did a great job," manager Mike Matheny said of Miller's shortened outing, the fifth time this season he didn't surrender a run. "Had a little warning there that his calf had tightened up (and) we didn't know exactly what we were dealing with. We found out it's just a cramp. He should be fine."
Miller, whose 10.01 strikeouts per nine innings rank among baseball's elite, appeared to have learned his lesson immediately after the game.
"I know I wasn't taking care of myself fluid-wise, drinking enough electrolytes," he told the team's official website. "It's something I need to start staying on top of and making it part of my routine."
Perez (0-1, 5.06) will be recalled from Triple-A Round Rock to make his eighth major league start. Touted as one of the organization's best young arms, the left-hander was 1-4 with a 5.45 ERA in 12 games - six starts - last season.
He vied for a spot in Texas' rotation out of spring training but a broken arm suffered March 4 sidelined him for nearly two months. Perez wasn't sharp in his first start for the Rangers this year, giving up four runs - three earned - and nine hits over 5 13 innings in a 5-3 loss at Arizona on May 27.
Manager Ron Washington said he preferred for Perez to focus on Saturday, while the 22-year-old Venezuelan sounded ready for that and more.
"I think this is my time," Perez told the team's official website. "I just need the opportunity to do the job, and I think people will see what I can do to help this team."
The Cardinals are 4-2 this season in games against rookie starters while the Rangers are 4-5.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
ST. LOUIS - First it was a moth, now it's the fly.
Matt Holliday stepped to the plate in the sixth inning on Thursday night against the Cubs and crushed a 418-foot home run. The big left fielder made it look as easy as ABC, one, two three - but he forgot to XYZ.
That's right. even baseball players forget to zip. It happens to the best of us. Just usually not in front...
ST. LOUIS The St. Louis Cardinals poached a potential Missouri Tiger on Thursday, when the signing of infielder Malik Collymore, the team's 10th-round pick in the 2013 MLB Draft, became official.
Collymore, a resident of Mississauga, Ontario, played at Port Credit Secondary School in Canada. He had previously committed to Mizzou, but that commitment became null and void as...
ST. LOUIS -- A fourth straight lousy start figures to cost rookie lefty Tyler Lyons his spot in the Cardinals' rotation.
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny did not address the team's pitching plans after the Cardinals lost to the Rangers, 6-4, Friday night but admitted that Lyons had "a tough day."
"He had trouble getting (balls) in the (strike) zone," Matheny...
Stodgy old baseball types will tell you that they go to baseball games every day because they always see something new th…
The St. Louis Cardinals have optioned struggling lefty Tyler Lyons, who lasted just 1 2-3 innings on Friday, to Triple-A Memphis.
Right-hander Michael Blazek, a 35th round draft pick in 2007, was recalled Saturday to add bullpen depth and the Cardinals could give Lyons' spot in the rotation to Joe Kelly. The 24-year-old Blazek made it to the majors for the first time earlier...
St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter's rehab has been put on hold after he injured his lower back in a bullpen session.
General manager John Mozeliak said Thursday that any contribution this season from Carpenter, sidelined since February with nerve issues on the right side of his body, would be a bonus. But he said the prognosis has improved the last few days.
ST. LOUIS (AP) St. Louis Cardinals cleared pitcher Chris Carpenter to resume rehabbing from a lower back injury on Friday after the team got outside medical opinions about his comeback from nerve issues.
General manager John Mozeliak said the 38-year-old Carpenter played catch Friday and was scheduled for a light bullpen session Saturday. How the former NL Cy Young winner responds...
The Baby Birds finished the night with a 4-2 record as Memphis and Palm Beach were the only losers. Oscar led the way for Memphis in the loss with 3 hits. I believe it will take a significant injury in St. Louis for Taveras to get called up. Jacob Wilson returned from the disabled list and homered in his second at bat. I’ve said it before, but Wilson has to be the surprise of the...
ST. LOUIS - Fewer than six weeks remain until the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, and you know what that means? The rumor season is about to heat up.
Because the Cardinals have a loaded farm system, plenty of financial flexibility and are primed for a pennant run, expect them to be in the middle of a lot of trade speculation. Just remember, distinguishing between fact and fiction...
In 2011 when the St. Louis Cardinals surprisingly declined to give Albert Pujols a long term contract, one of the main arguments circulating through Cardinal Nation advocating the decision was the presence of a big, young first baseman named Matt Adams who was raking in AA Springfield. Now, in the second year of the Post-Albert Era, the Cardinals are thriving and Adams has very...
Weekly St. Louis Cardinals-focused chat on KXnO FOX Sports Radio 1460 in Des Moines.
Late Friday afternoon, I joined guest hosts Joe Quinn and Ross Peterson on KXnO FOX Sports Radio 1460 in Des Moines in our regular series to discuss the St. Louis Cardinals, “Cardinal Talk.” This time, we discussed the upcoming 2011 World Series rematch with Texas, a key unsung Cardinal and a...
The St. Louis Cardinals minor league team rosters open up a wealth of information about players at every level of the system while the Roster Matrix summarizes all organization players listed by level and position on one page.
Hot News for P Michael Blazek
ST. LOUIS (AP) Nelson Cruz snapped a ninth-inning tie with a two-run single through a drawn-in infield and the Texas Rangers beat the St. Louis Cardinals 6-4 Friday night in the opener of a series between 2011 World Series opponents.
Derek Holland was strong at the end of a seven-inning stint after a shaky start, Neal Cotts (4-1) escaped a bases-loaded jam in the eighth when Jon...