St. Louis Cardinals (56-49) at San Diego Padres (47-59)
Wednesday, July 30 - 10:10 PM EST
Petco Park, San Diego, California
The St. Louis Cardinals are reportedly in the market for a starting pitcher, but they might also want to consider adding another bat. The Cardinals are eight for their last 68 with runners in scoring position heading into Wednesday’s contest against the host San Diego Padres, who snapped a three-game losing streak with a 3-1 victory in Tuesday’s series opener. St. Louis has been held to one or zero runs in three of its last five games and stands 1 1/2 games behind first-place Milwaukee in the National League Central.
San Diego received a boost Tuesday when its double-play tandem of shortstop Everth Cabrera and second baseman Jedd Gyorko took the field together for the first time since July 2. Cabrera missed most of July due to a hamstring injury, while Gyorko has gone 3-for-6 in two games after missing 44 games with plantar fasciitis. The Padres believe they filled another hole in their infield with the addition of third baseman Yangervis Solarte, who is 8-for-28 with two homers since being acquired from the Yankees.
TV: 10:10 p.m. ET, FSN Midwest (St. Louis), FSN San Diego
PITCHING MATCHUP: Cardinals RH Joe Kelly (2-1, 3.90 ERA) vs. Padres RH Jesse Hahn (6-2, 2.12)
Kelly looks to bounce back after yielding five runs on eight hits over 4 2/3 innings against the Cubs last Friday. The 26-year-old did not allow a home run in his first five starts covering 30 innings before giving up two homers in the 7-6 loss. Kelly is set to make his first career appearance against the Padres after posting a 4-4 mark with a 3.36 ERA in 14 career games (nine starts) against the four other NL West teams.
Hahn has made eight strong starts to enter the NL Rookie of the Year discussion, but the 24-year-old is on an innings limit and figures to be shut down in early September. Hahn impressed again last Friday, when he made his first start since July 11 and held Atlanta to one run on three hits over six innings. “This guy is pretty calm for a young player,” manager Bud Black told reporters. “He’s got some confidence in his game, which we came to know in spring training.”
1. San Diego OF Seth Smith is batting .383 (23-for-60) this month.
2. The Cardinals are 12-33 when their opponent scores first.
3. The Padres are 22-4 when scoring five or more runs.
PREDICTION: Padres 5, Cardinals 2