Current Conditions - St. Louis
CLOUDS AND SUN 93 °F
Wind: WSW 8
Kansas City Royals (40-36) at St. Louis Cardinals (40-36)
Wednesday, June 29 - 8:15 PM EST
Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri
After earning a split on the road against their intrastate rival, the St. Louis Cardinals return home to host the reigning World Series champion Kansas City Royals on Wednesday night in the back end of the home-and-home four-game series. It's the opener of a nine-game homestand for St. Louis, which has dropped five in a row at Busch Stadium.
Matt Carpenter homered, doubled and drove in a pair of runs in Tuesday's 8-4 victory for St. Louis, which is 15-21 on the season at home. Kansas City has lost five of seven overall and may have suffered a costly injury when center fielder Lorenzo Cain was forced to leave Tuesday's game with a left hamstring strain. “We don’t know what’s wrong with Cain yet. We’re hoping the best," Royals left fielder Alex Gordon said. "If he goes down, we got a guy that can step in with (Jarrod) Dyson." Kansas City sends right-hander Edinson Volquez, who was ejected from Tuesday's contest, to the mound to oppose red-hot Carlos Martinez.
TV: 8:15 p.m. ET, FSN Kansas City, FSN Midwest (St. Louis)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Royals RH Edinson Vólquez (7-7, 5.15 ERA) vs. Cardinals RH Carlos Martínez (7-5, 3.02)
Volquez has nowhere to go but up after a wretched performance versus Houston on Saturday, when he was hammered for 12 runs (11 earned) and failed to retire a batter in the second inning. Volquez managed to come away with a win despite giving up five runs to Detroit in his previous turn following seven scoreless innings of two-hit ball against Cleveland on June 13. Matt Holliday is 11-for-34 with two homers off Volquez, who is 5-6 lifetime against St. Louis.
Martinez has had a season of streaks, posting a 4-0 record with a 1.93 ERA in his first four starts before losing his next five outings and giving up at least four runs in four of them. He has reclaimed his early-season form during a five-start unbeaten streak in which he has yielded a total of five runs and pitched at least seven innings four times. The 24-year-old Martinez has struggled at Busch Stadium, posting a 3-4 record and 4.21 ERA in eight starts.
1. The Royals are among the worst teams in the majors with a 13-25 road record.
2. Cardinals SS Aledmys Diaz, who was hit in the face by a ball he fouled off at the plate, suffered no structural damage but is dealing with inflammation around his eye.
3. Kansas City has surrendered 48 homers in June, three shy of the club record for one month set in May 2006.
PREDICTION: Cardinals 4, Royals 3