Both photos are credited to Getty Images.
In the first three games of the season, the Cardinals and Pirates met at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, where the Pirates took all three. Now, the Pirates — who were swept by the Cubs this week — will come to Busch Stadium, where the Cardinals hope they can take advantage of their slumping foes.
Carlos Martinez will pitch in the series opener on Friday night for St. Louis. Martinez’s last outing came against the Nationals. He rolled through the first five innings of the ballgame with ease, allowing just one base hit. Things trended downward in the sixth and seventh innings, however, as Martinez allowed four runs, three on two home runs, leading to his first loss in five decisions this season. Opposing Martinez will be left-hander Francisco Liriano. Liriano pitched 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball against the Reds in his last start and struck out six. The low-run total was a very welcomed sight for Liriano, especially so given that his two starts prior added up to 10 1/3 innings, in which he allowed eight runs.
Adam Wainwright will be on the mound for the Cardinals. Wainwright is fresh off of a 10-3 victory over Philadelphia on Monday, one where he drove in as many runs as he allowed. Wainwright’s three-run, fourth-inning homer tied the game at the time. Jeff Locke will get the nod for the Bucs in the middle game of the series. Locke last pitched on Sunday, May 1, against the Reds. In that outing, the lefty pitched seven innings and allowed three runs on four hits. With six strikeouts in the start, Locke has whiffed fourteen in his last thirteen innings of work.
Michael Wacha will toe the rubber for the Cards in the series finale. Wacha suffered a loss in his last outing, though he really did not deserve the loss; Wacha allowed one run in eight innings to the Phillies and struck out nine. However, the Cardinals failed to provide him with run support. For the Pirates will be Gerrit Cole, who was a little roughed up in his last start. Cole surrendered five runs to the Cubs on six hits and four walks through 4 2/3 innings, the second start of the season that Cole has not managed to break the five-inning plateau.
PIT: Jordy Mercer, shortstop. Over his last seven games, Mercer is 8-for-25 with two RBIs and has scored three runs.
STL: Matt Adams, first baseman. In his last nineteen at-bats, Adams has four RBIs and eight hits, including two homers and a double. Adams left Thursday’s game against the Phillies with a left leg contusion, but that is not expected to impact his playing time in this series.