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A little interleague MLB action on Tuesday evening as the St Louis Cardinals duke it out with the Minnesota Twins at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota in game one of a two-game series. The Twins took both meetings between these team in St Louis last week and outscored them 13-1 in the process. Pitching Probables: Toeing the rubber for the Cardinals will be Jack Flaherty (0-1, 3.60 ERA) and he will be opposed by Jose Berrios (3-4, 4.50 ERA).Cards Lose Final Two In San Diego
The St Louis Cardinals are sitting in a tie with the Pirates for 2nd place in the National League Central, with both teams being just a half a game out of first. They come in struggling a bit as they have lost four of their last six games, including their last two of a four-game series with the San Diego Padres over the weekend. They did take the first two games of that series and scored 11 runs in the two games, but scored just four total runs in the two losses.
The Cards lost the finale by a score of 5-3 and leading their attack was Harrison Bader, who had two hits, including his 3rd homer of the year, and he drove in a pair of runs as well. He also had a triple in the game. Adam Wainright got the start in the game and it was not a good one as he allowed two ERs on three hits and six walks in just 2.1 innings of work to fall to 1-3 with a 4.00 ERA on the year. John Gant then came in and struggled as well as he allowed two ERs on four hits in 3.2 innings of work. The Cardinals have averaged 4.63 rpg and have allowed 4.00 rpg on the road so far.
Getting the nod for the Cardinals will be Jack Flaherty and he has gone 0-1 with a 3.60 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP in two starts on the year. In his career, he has gone 0-3 with a 5.46 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP in eight games (seven starts) overall, including 0-1 with a 5.14 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP in five starts on the road. This will be his first meeting with the Twins. Flaherty was 4-1 with a 2.27 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP in five starts at Memphis (AAA) this year.
The Cardinals have been below average on offense in the early going as they come in ranked 16th in the league in scoring, putting up 4.29 rpg, while also ranking 26th in hitting at .230 and 12th in homers with 49. On the mound, they have been very solid in the early going as they come in ranked 3rd in the league in ERA at 3.35 while also ranking 10th in WHIP at 1.29 and 25th in K’s with 316. The pen for the Cardinals ranks 12th in the league in ERA at 3.66.
In their first game without Yadier Molina, the St.
Louis Cardinals survived a 14-inning battle of attrition, beating the Chicago Cubs 4-3 when Dexter Fowler skied a game-winning two-run homer off the top of the right-field wall just before 1 a.m. Monday.St. Louis continues a journey of at least four weeks in duration without its All-Star catcher Monday night when it starts a two-game interleague series in Busch Stadium with the Minnesota Twins.
How it survives this stretch without Molina, a workhorse who started 30 of the Cardinals’ first 31 games before being felled by a foul tip to the groin in the ninth inning Saturday, could tell if they can challenge for a National League Central Division title.At 20-12, St. Louis leads the division by 1 1/2 games over Milwaukee. Molina helped get it off to the fast start, hitting .272 with six homers and 17 RBIs while helping the pitching staff rank among the top five in the majors in earned run average.
“With him behind the plate, it takes so much pressure off the pitcher just because you know how prepared he is,” Minnesota reliever Zach Duke said to the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “You don’t have to think about what you’re going to throw because pretty much whatever he puts down is the right pitch at the time.”Duke would know. He spent parts of the last two years with the Cardinals before signing with the Twins as a free agent. Another former teammate, Lance Lynn, followed Duke to Minnesota in mid-March, although he won’t face St. Louis in the series.
Instead, the Cardinals will face rookie right-hander Fernando Romero, making his second big league start. The 23-year-old Romero fired 5 2/3 scoreless innings Wednesday in a 4-0 victory over Toronto, permitting four hits and walking three while fanning five.Romero, rated a top 100 prospect in the minors before the season, averaged almost a strikeout per inning in 324 1/3 minor league innings. He won 11 games last year at Double-A Chattanooga.
The Twins (13-17) prevailed 5-3 Sunday at the Chicago White Sox, their third straight win, and trail first place Cleveland by two games in the American League Central.They could be catching St. Louis at a good time, and not just because Molina won’t be around. While the Cardinals have won five in a row, their bullpen was shredded by 10- and 14-inning games to end the Cubs’ series.John Gant (1-0, 0.00) will make his first big league start of the year for St. Louis. In his only appearance for the Cardinals, he fired three hitless innings April 26 to earn a 4-3, 13-inning win over the New York Mets.