St. Louis Cardinals (29-16) at San Diego Padres (21-24)
Wednesday, May 22 - 10:10 PM EST
Petco Park, San Diego, California
The St. Louis Cardinals will try to continue their road success Wednesday when they visit the San Diego Padres in the finale of their three-game series. The Cardinals are 15-8 away from home this season after defeating the Padres 10-2 on Tuesday. The Texas Rangers are the only other major league team with at least 15 road wins. The Cardinals, who have the best record in baseball at 29-16, lead the National League Central by 1 1/2 games over Cincinnati.
St. Louis, which has the best run differential in the majors (plus-57), is expected to have third baseman David Freese back in the lineup. He missed the last two games with a thumb injury. Matt Carpenter moved to third base Tuesday while Daniel Descalso started at second and they combined to go 5-for-8 with six RBIs. San Diego rookie second baseman Jedd Gyorko had his third three-hit game this month Tuesday, bumping his average to .278 after he began May hitting .247.
TV: 10:10 p.m. ET, Fox Sports Midwest (St. Louis), Fox Sports San Diego
PITCHING MATCHUP: Cardinals LH Tyler Lyons (NR) vs. Padres RH Burch Smith (0-0, 15.63 ERA)
Lyons will become the sixth rookie pitcher to take the mound for the Cardinals this season when he makes his major-league debut. He’s filling the void left by Jaime Garcia, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list over the weekend with a shoulder strain. Lyons was drafted in the 10th round out of Oklahoma State in 2009. He was 2-1 with a 4.47 ERA in eight starts this season with Triple-A Memphis. In his most recent outing, he allowed three runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings Saturday. “I've had a couple of innings that have gotten me in trouble, but overall I feel like I have thrown the ball well,” he said.
Smith is also a rookie with ties to Oklahoma. He was drafted in the 14th round in 2011 out of the University of Oklahoma. He made his major league debut May 11 against the Tampa Bay Rays, but lasted one inning after allowing six runs and five hits in the 8-7 loss. Smith lasted longer the second time around, giving up five runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings of a 6-5 loss Friday to the Washington Nationals. The 23-year-old struck out eight and walked one in his second outing, but surrendered three home runs. He owns a fastball that tops out at 98 mph, but usually throws in the mid-90s.
1. Padres LHP Clayton Richard allowed two runs and five hits in six innings during his second rehab start Tuesday with Triple-A Tucson.
2. Padres 1B Yonder Alonso has one error in 44 games this season after committing 12 in 149 contests last year.
3. St. Louis C Yadier Molina is hitless in back-to-back games for the first time since April 5-6.
PREDICTION: Padres 8, Cardinals 6