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|Two young starters searching for consistency will try to find it Wednesday night in the rubber game of a three-game series between the San Diego Padres and St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
Padres left-hander Eric Lauer (2-4 Logan Morrison Minnesota Twins Jersey , 6.64 ERA) is undergoing on-the-job training with mostly painful results, while Cardinals right-hander Luke Weaver (3-5, 4.35) has won once in his last 10 starts, struggling to put hitters away and frequently running up high pitch counts.
The last start for each summarized their seasons. Lauer suffered a 4-0 loss Friday night in Miami, while Weaver was no-decisioned in a 7-6, 10-inning victory that same evening in Cincinnati as each failed to command the strike zone.
Lauer, who is in the majors because Bryan Mitchell (0-3, 7.08) was horribly ineffective, has allowed a whopping 81 baserunners (57 hits, 24 walks) over 39 1/3 innings in nine starts.
Seven of those walks occurred in Miami Josh Jackson Color Rush Jersey , where Lauer threw 111 pitches and gave up three runs in a five-inning stint. Lauer at least managed to minimize damage, escaping a bases-loaded spot in the fifth without ceding extra runs.
“It was a good learning experience for me,” Lauer said to MLB.com. “And a good mental sign for me that (manager Andy Green) was comfortable leaving me in in those situations and letting me get that chance to grow. Being able to work through those tough situations is something I need to do.”
Lauer was shelled in a 9-5 loss to St. Louis at Petco Park on May 11, allowing four homers and six runs over 2 1/3 innings before getting hooked.
Weaver, who pitched well over the last two months of the 2017 season, came out of the gate strong in 2018 with two wins in his first three starts. But Weaver has lasted seven innings just two times in his last 10 outings, taxing a bullpen that hasn’t exactly been a model of consistency.
The Reds touched Weaver for seven hits, five walks and four runs in five-plus innings on Friday, but only a blown save by Bud Norris in the ninth prevented Weaver from notching a win.
“Today was a tough one with the weather conditions and the rain, with it getting a little muddy Authentic Lukas Dostal Jersey ,” Weaver said to MLB.com. “It is one of those where you have to put your stuff down and grind through it and make some good pitches.”
Weaver has stumped San Diego (32-37) in both career outings, winning both and not allowing a run over 12 innings.
The Padres evened this series Tuesday night as their bullpen checked the Cardinals (36-29) on five hits in a 4-2 victory. Matt Strahm and submarining right-hander Adam Cimber combined to retire the first 15 St. Louis hitters.
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said the difference between Cimber and Strahm, a left-hander who touched 94 mph with his fastball, was difficult for his hitters.
“That was unique stuff from the right side,” Matheny said of Cimber. “Most of the time, he’s using the (arm) angle to hit the top of the zone. It’s certainly like an upshoot.”
The Chicago Cubs got some key hits and effective pitching to get a big win. Jason Heyward and Addison Russell homered, and Ian Happ had a tiebreaking RBI double in the seventh inning as the Cubs rallied to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 6-3 on Saturday night.
Chicago starter Kyle Hendricks (5-6) gave up three runs and seven hits in six innings, snapping a career-high three game losing streak. Brandon Morrow got the last three outs for his 16th save in 17 chances.
”We had great at bats all night,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. ”Had opportunities. Kyle (Hendricks) settled in. He’s still off a little bit but that’s what he can do even when he’s off. Just give him a lot of credit.”
Chicago trailed 2-0 and then 3-2 before Kyle Schwarber’s RBI single in the fifth tied the score for the second time. Happ’s double off Sam Tuivailala (1-2) in the seventh gave the Cubs their first lead.
Happ has three hits, including a homer Chase Edmonds Color Rush Jersey , with two RBI and two runs scored in the last two games against the Cardinals, who dropped their season-high fourth in a row.
Heyward’s 410-foot, two-run homer in the eighth landed in the right field bullpen. It was the first career dinger allowed by Cardinals reliever Jordan Hicks.
”My hands have got to be free,” Heyward said. ”I’ve got to be able to use my hands and can’t try and hit (that 100 mph fastball) that with my body. If you try and do too much you’re not going to be able to make some good contact there.”
Heyward is hitting .383 (23 for 65) in his last 15 games, raising his average from .238 to .269.
”What was that a 99, 100 mile an hour fastball? He got to it easily,” Maddon said. ”He’s the guy that’s really ascended among the group. He’s made all the difference by hitting second and providing some big hits in the latter part of the game. He’s really good as the game gets in progress.”
Russell’s leadoff home run in the fourth tied it at 2-2, snapping Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez’s 47 inning homerless streak.
”Looking for something in the zone early in the count,” Russell said. ”I was really sitting on a fastball but I just saw it well and I put it out.”
Martinez struggled for third time since returning from a lat strain, giving up three runs and seven hits. He walked six DaeSean Hamilton Color Rush Jersey , at least one in each inning, and needed 98 pitches to get through five innings. He was able to wriggle out of a bases loaded jam in the fifth as the Cubs stranded nine runners against him.
”Better, but still not exactly where he wants to be, obviously the free passes,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. ”It just looked more like his stuff, good life, just looked consistent, had some close misses.”
Martinez helped himself with a two-out RBI single that broke a 2-2 tie in the fourth. Martinez’ liner fell just short of the outstretched glove of a diving Heyward, scoring Dexter Fowler.
Marcell Ozuna’s two-run homer gave the Cardinals a 2-0 lead in the first. The blast extended Ozuna’s home run streak to three games and his RBI streak to a career-high seven games. He is the first Cardinal to drive in a run in seven straight since Matt Holliday in 2013.
”Winning is more important,” Ozuna said. ”If we’re winning and you help the team a little bit http://www.49ersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-kentavius-street-jersey , it’s good. But if you’re losing and you’re hitting good, what is the reason for it?”
Willson Contreras got the Cubs on the scoreboard in the third on a sharp infield single that deflected off first baseman Matt Carpenter. Ben Zobrist scored from third on the play.
Cubs: RHP Yu Darvish (right triceps tendinitis) threw a 35-pitch bullpen session on Friday and is scheduled to throw another when the team returns home next week.
Cardinals: SS Paul DeJong (left hand fracture) underwent a CT scan and hit off a tee. He will accompany the team on its next road trip.
Cubs: LHP Jose Quintana (6-4, 4.09 ERA) is 3-1 in five career starts against St. Louis.
Cardinals: RHP Jack Flaherty (3-2, 2.96 ERA) has won three of his last four decisions and is making his first career start against Chicago.
After spending time with Tampa Bay
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