Found July 31, 2013 on
Fox Sports Midwest:
St. Louis Cardinals
The Pittsburgh Pirates wrested control of the National League Central from the St. Louis Cardinals with a doubleheader sweep Tuesday.
They'll look to expand their lead with a sixth straight win over the reeling Cardinals on Wednesday night.
The Pirates (64-42) have won eight of 11 behind a starting staff that has posted a 1.95 ERA during that span. They've compiled a 1.77 ERA in winning six of their last seven at PNC Park, helping raise Pittsburgh's home record among the majors' best to 35-18.
"We want more," manager Clint Hurdle said.
Jeff Locke (9-3, 2.15 ERA) will look to maintain both the Pirates' momentum and his own as he has gone 8-2 with a 1.70 ERA since April 23. The left-hander has yielded two earned runs or fewer in eight straight starts.
Locke has pitched around the plate all season long with little ill effect. He has walked three or more batters in 11 of his 20 starts, but he has a 2.37 ERA in those outings. That's partly due to his ability to pitch with runners in scoring position, as batters are hitting just .122 off him in such situations.
Friday was nearly a microcosm of his season. Locke struggled with control, walking six batters and allowing 14 baserunners overall, yet still gave up only two runs with a season-high nine strikeouts in 6 23 innings of a 2-0 loss to the Miami Marlins.
"Kind of sloppy," Locke said. "I felt really good, but just command wasn't there."
Locke has surrendered just three home runs in his last 17 starts.
While Locke ranks fourth in the majors with 57 walks, Adam Wainwright (13-6, 2.51) has issued 1.0 walks per nine innings, the best mark in the majors. The right-hander, who also is third in the NL with 145 strikeouts, has an 8.1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Unlike Locke, Wainwright has struggled keeping the ball in the park of late. After surrendering just four home runs in his first 17 starts, he has given up three in his last five, including one in seven innings of a 4-1 loss at Atlanta on Friday.
"Sometimes you just get beat," Wainwright said. "I had some pretty good stuff tonight."
Wainwright will look to be a stopper for St. Louis, which has lost a season-worst six in a row. During that skid, the Cardinals (62-43) have managed six runs and batted .155 with one home run. Carlos Beltran is 4 for his last 32 (.125), Daniel Descalso is 0 for his last 16 with five strikeouts and Matt Carpenter is 2 for his last 24 (.083).
"It's just one of those points in the season -- you have your ups and downs, and hopefully it's the only down we have," pitcher Lance Lynn said.
That struggling offense will be further impacted without All-Star Yadier Molina. The catcher, third in the NL with a .330 batting average, is expected to be put on the disabled list for a strained right knee that has been bothering him since June.
Wainwright will make his first start against Pittsburgh since he gave up seven runs and a season-worst 11 hits to the Pirates on June 29, 2012. One of those 11 hits was a home run by recent call-up Alex Presley, who had a walkoff single in the 11th inning of Pittsburgh's 2-1 victory to open Tuesday's twinbill and a pinch-hit triple in the nightcap, which the Pirates won 6-0.
Pittsburgh's bullpen pitched six scoreless innings Tuesday. Mark Melancon, with a 0.89 ERA, has allowed just one run and 14 baserunners in his last 20 innings. Jeanmar Gomez, who completed the sweep with two hitless innings, has posted a 1.04 ERA since transitioning back into the bullpen.
BEST OF MAXIM
TOP OF THE SYSTEM
A look at how the current top 20 prospects did today. Note that this list doesn’t include players currently in the majors. If a player is in the majors, he will be removed, everyone below him will be shifted up a spot, and a new player will be added to the bottom of the list. Rankings are from the mid-season rankings, and links on each name go to their Pirates...
Some big names on the schedule today as Nick Kingham, Clay Holmes and Stolmy Pimentel all take the hill tonight. Altoona had the day off yesterday. For a look at the possible starters over the next few weeks, please check out our Probable Pitchers Chart. Check out the Recent Transactions section to the bottom of this page, for all Pirates minor league transactions. A full recap of...
For a season preview of the Pittsburgh Pirates two Dominican Summer League teams, check out our article here. For a recap of the DSL All-Star game, check out our article here. Throughout the year, we will provide the recaps of both teams, as well as highlight one player each day.
Result: Pirates 5, Angels 4
Starting Pitcher: Ramon Rodriguez, RHP (2.00) –...
(via CardinalsFarm.com) The Baby Birds went 5-2 on Monday as Springfield, Peoria, State College, Johnson City, and the GCL Cards all won, while Memphis and Palm Beach were on the losing end.
Here are quick game summaries followed by the player of the game and a link to the box score:
The Memphis Redbirds lost 7-4 to the Round Rock Express on Monday. Adron Chambers had 2 hits including...
Russ Canzler has been the only Pirates trade prior to the deadline. (Photo Credit: David Hague)
The biggest move the Pirates made this year on the trade market? Acquiring Russ Canzler for Tim Alderson. If you look around the league, you won’t find much different from other teams. Most teams were quiet on deadline day, whether that was buyers who didn’t upgrade, or sellers who...
You may not realize it if you're not paying attention to St. Louis Cardinals baseball, but the team has never really gotten over Rafael Furcal's injury. They have not been able to find a long-term replacement at shortstop that lives up to the team's high expectations. For that reason, the Cardinals may be on the hunt for a shortstop like Erick Aybar before today...
PITTSBURGH -- Alex Presley hit a game-ending single off the glove of diving shortstop Pete Kozma with two outs in the 11th inning, lifting the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 2-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals in the opener of a doubleheader on Tuesday.
Presley's sharp grounder off Kevin Siegrist (0-1) deflected off Kozma's glove and into shallow center field, allowing Russell...
PITTSBURGH (AP) The St. Louis Cardinals have placed catcher Yadier Molina and outfielder Shane Robinson on the 15-day disabled list and recalled outfielder Adron Chambers and utility player Brock Peterson from Triple-A Memphis.
Molina has been dealing with a right knee sprain for more than a month. He left a 6-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night after the third inning...
ST. LOUIS -- So the Cardinals didn't make a significant trade before the deadline for the first time since 2008.
I say good for them.
As sharp as Cliff Lee would look wearing the Birds on the Bat, the Cardinals never were close to a deal, according to a Phillies source.
If the Cardinals weren't going to mortgage a big chunk of their future on Lee, no other available...
Pittsburgh Pirates Director of Minor League operations Larry Broadway updates the progress of prospects in the Pirates minor league system.
Source: FanGraphs Source: FanGraphs Marlins series? What Marlins series? I have no idea what you’re talking about. Just two days have passed and it feels like losing two out of three over the weekend never happened. The Pittsburgh Pirates took both games of today’s doubleheader with the St. Louis Cardinals which resulted in three things.…
Russell Martin drove home Neal Walker with the go-ahead run in the eighth inning and the Pittsburgh Pirates rallied to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-4 on Wednesday night.
Martin's sharp grounder off Trevor Rosenthal (1-2) rolled into left field, giving Walker enough time to score from second. The Pirates' fourth straight win over the Cardinals gave Pittsburgh a 2 1/2-game...
The first of five games in this NL Central showdown belonged to the Pirates, winning 9-2 over the St. Louis Cardinals as Pittsburgh now trails by only a half game in the National League Central. St. Louis drops to 62-41 and have lost four straight to start the 11 game road trip, their first four game losing streak of the season. Pittsburgh improved to 20 games over .500 at 62-42...
Cardinals (62-44) at Pirates (65-42)
7:05 PM–PNC Park, Pittsburgh
The Bucs go for the five game sweep tonight. Can you even imagine?
Joe Kelly (1-3, 3.44) vs. Charlie Morton (3-2, 3.59)
Not a thrilling matchup but both have pitched well lately. Charlie will look to make it four great starts out of five for the Bucs in this huge series.
There is something so refreshing about a dominating performance. Francisco Liriano had one. Pedro Alvarez took the National League lead in homers. Gaby Sanchez hit a sacrifice fly! That might be the most surprising action of all. After a two month drought we can stop talking about that. Thank God they won last night. A…