MLB

more stats

National League Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, July 19th (All times Eastern)

San Diego Padres (42-54) at St. Louis Cardinals (57-36), 8:15 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: San Diego - Jason Marquis (9-4, 3.77) St. Louis - Jake Westbrook (5-4, 2.88)

(Sports Network) - The race in the National League Central is lined up for a three-team pursuit and the current leaders, the St. Louis Cardinals, are in the driver's seat for now.

Holding a one-game lead over the Pittsburgh Pirates and a five-game advantage on the Cincinnati Reds, St. Louis will open the second half of the season at home, starting with Friday's opener of a three-game series versus the San Diego Padres at Busch Stadium.

The Cardinals have won five straight at home and split a four-game set against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field before the All-Star break. They earned a split with Sunday's 10-6 win, as Yadier Molina ended 4-for-6 with a home run, three runs scored and four RBI. Molina delivered a clutch three-run homer during a four-run top of the ninth inning.

"We never give up," Molina said. "Whatever happens in the game or the inning before we're going to come after you."

Allen Craig recorded four hits as well and drove in a run in the decisive ninth inning, while Pete Kozma was 3-for-6 with two RBI.

St. Louis banged out 21 hits and got past the Cubs even though starting pitcher Adam Wainwright allowed four runs and eight hits in six innings for the no-decision. Edward Mujica, who was selected to replace Wainwright on the NL All-Star roster, tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief for the win, the Cards' seventh in the previous nine tries.

Wainwright was deemed ineligible for the All-Star Game by pitching Sunday.

Molina and Matt Carpenter both were 0-for-2 in the All-Star Game, Carlos Beltran finished 1-for-2 and Craig lined out in his only appearance at the plate. Mujica didn't get a chance to pitch in the Midsummer Classic.

Cardinals outfielder and former All-Star Matt Holliday is hoping to return to the lineup soon and hasn't played since last Thursday because of a right hamstring injury. Holliday has done some light running and took batting practice at Busch Stadium Thursday. He is hitting .268 with 13 home runs and 47 RBI this season.

The Cardinals are scheduled to host Philadelphia on this homestand and will send Jake Westbrook to the mound Friday versus the Padres. Westbrook has lost two of his last three starts and pitched well in a 3-0 defeat at the hands of the Cubs last Thursday. He allowed three runs in seven innings in dropping to 5-4 through 12 starts with a 2.88 earned run average.

Westbrook hopes to keep his unbeaten record at home intact and owns a 3-0 mark in four tries with a microscopic 0.31 ERA. The veteran right-hander is 2-2 in four games (3 starts) lifetime against San Diego.

The Padres crawled their way near the top of the NL West, but have been irrelevant since. They were 38-36 at one point, then lost 18 of the next 22 games, including a 10-game slide from June 29-July 8.

San Diego is 8 1/2 games off the division lead and will start a 10-game road trip Friday against St. Louis, Milwaukee and NL West-leading Arizona. The club salvaged a four-game series versus San Francisco before the All-Star break, taking Sunday's finale by a 10-1 score.

Eric Stults threw six innings of one-run ball for the win and was helped offensively by four home runs. Chris Denorfia, Carlos Quentin, Nick Hundley and Will Venable all went deep for the Padres.

"We've got to combine those," Padres manager Bud Black said of both pitching and hitting. "The rest of the year, that's our challenge. It's a pretty simple formula. We haven't been doing that."

Padres shortstop and switch-hitter Everth Cabrera was the lone All-Star from the team and didn't get a chance to play in the game.

"Of course, I wanted to play, but this was my first All-Star Game, and it was a great experience," Cabrera said. "Being around all of these All-Stars and taking batting practice with them is awesome."

The Friars, losers in nine straight on the road, will send former Cardinal Jason Marquis to the mound Friday. Marquis, who played with St. Louis from 2004-06, is winless (0-2) in his last five starts since opening the season with a 9-2 record. He hasn't recorded a decision in the previous two outings and tossed 5 1/3 innings of two-run ball in a 4-2 loss versus the Giants last Thursday.

Marquis last tasted victory June 15 versus Arizona and he is 9-4 with a 3.77 earned run average in 19 starts. The right-hander hasn't won 10 or more games in a season since going 15-13 in 2009 with Colorado.

He defeated the Cardinals back on May 20 and is 6-2 with a 3.53 ERA in 10 games (8 starts) lifetime against them. The right-hander posted the lone win for San Diego in that series versus St. Louis and the Padres have won four of the last six meetings between the clubs.

07/19 10:49:02 ET

Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 1
BOS 2
Final
DUKE 66
GONZ 52
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
BOS
 
Final
PHI 4
DET 4
Final
WAS 11
MIA 7
Final
BAL 5
MIN 6
Final
STL 2
NYM 3
Final
HOU 0
NYY 7
Final
ATL 2
PIT 4
Final
BOS 3
TAM 2
Final
TOR 2
BAL 4
Final
ANA 6
CIN 8
Final
KAN 0
CHC 7
Final
CLE 1
CWS 4
Final
SFG 11
LOS 9
Final
OAK 7
MIL 0
Final
SDP 8
SEA 5
Final
LOS 10
TEX 5
Final
COL 2
ARI 1
Final
ARI 10
COL 11
1:05pm Today
DET
ATL
 
1:05pm Today
TAM
BAL
 
1:05pm Today
PIT
PHI
 
1:05pm Today
STL
WAS
 
1:10pm Today
NYM
MIA
 
4:05pm Today
CWS
CLE
 
4:05pm Today
OAK
COL
 
4:05pm Today
TEX
KAN
 
4:05pm Today
SEA
ANA
 
4:05pm Today
CIN
SDP
 
4:05pm Today
CHC
SFG
 
4:10pm Today
ARI
LOS
 
6:05pm Tonight
HOU
TOR
 
7:05pm Tonight
BOS
MIN
 
Final
WAS 91
HOU 99
Final
BRK 107
LAL 99
Final
NOP 110
MIN 88
Final
CLE 87
PHI 86
Final
MIA 109
DET 102
Final
BOS 106
LAC 119
Final
IND 104
DAL 99
Final
SAN 103
MEM 89
Final
PHO 97
OKC 109
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
BOS
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
LAL
 
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
HOU
 
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
MIL
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
SAC
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
UTA
 
10:00pm Tonight
POR
PHO
 
Final
LOU 70
MSU 76
Final
DUKE 66
GONZ 52
8:00pm Tonight
LOYC
LAMON
 
Final
NYR 2
WAS 5
Final
CAR 1
BOS 2
Final
NAS 2
CAL 5
Final
NYI 5
DET 4
Final
OTT 2
FLA 4
Final
NJD 1
ANA 2
Final
WIN 3
CHI 4
Final
PIT 3
SJS 2
7:30pm Tonight
MON
TAM
 
8:00pm Tonight
STL
VAN
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
CAL
 
8:30pm Tonight
CHI
LOS
 
9:00pm Tonight
COL
EDM
 
10:00pm Tonight
ARI
BUF