National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, August 14
(All times Eastern)
San Diego Padres (57-62) at St. Louis Cardinals (63-56), 8:15 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: San Diego - Eric Stults (5-13, 4.76)
St. Louis - John Lackey (1-1, 8.25)
(SportsNetwork.com) - John Lackey tries to shake off one of the worst outings
of his career on Thursday when the St. Louis Cardinals open a four-game series
with the San Diego Padres at Busch Stadium.
In his second start since being acquired by Boston at the non-waiver trade
deadline, Lackey was rocked by the Baltimore Orioles to the tune of nine runs
and 13 hits in five innings, skyrocketing his ERA in a Cardinals uniform to
"You got to give them a lot of credit," Lackey said. "They're swinging the
bats well. Hits were falling in. A couple of them were hit real hard and they
went out of the yard."
Lackey has split two starts versus the Padres, going 1-1 with a 4.76 ERA.
St. Louis returns home after a 2-4 road trip. The Cards, though, closed the
trek in style on Wednesday in Miami, as Matt Carpenter had three hits and
scored twice and Justin Masterson pitched a gem in a 5-2 win over the Marlins.
Masterson (2-1) was dominant in his third start for the Cards since coming
over in a trade from the Indians. The veteran righty allowed just three hits
over seven efficient innings.
"The best thing about it was guys played extreme defense out there," said
Masterson. "When we're going good we get some ground balls, and all the guys
out there were doing great.
San Diego, meanwhile, comes in red-hot, having matched its season-best five-
game winning streak following a sweep over the Colorado Rockies. On Wednesday,
Rymer Liriano's first career home run, a two-run blast, helped the Padres to a
Jedd Gyorko finished 4-for-4 with two doubles and a run scored and Abraham
Almonte also homered for the Padres, who have won 11 of their last 14.
Ian Kennedy (9-10) earned the win after giving up three runs on six hits with
eight strikeouts in six innings of work.
"We are playing better all around," said Padres manager Bud Black. "We are
probably pitching better the past few weeks and our at-bats are better for
Now it'll be Eric Stults' turn, as he tries to win his third straight start.
Stults still leads the National League with 13 losses, but has been brilliant
his last two times out, surrendering one run over 12 2/3 innings.
"It's nice to just have a win," Stults said after holding Pittsburgh to one
run in six innings on Saturday. "This year has been a little frustrating."
Stults had been 0-9 with a 5.37 ERA over his previous 12 road starts before
beating the Pirates.
San Diego took two of three from the Cards in late July.
08/14 10:35:34 ET