Baltimore (28-30) at St. Louis (31-27)

Fair Currently: St. Louis, MO
Temp: 68° F
  • Game info: 8:10 pm EDT Fri Jun 6, 2003
  • TV: WB54, FSMW
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Brett Tomko will have a tough act to follow when he takes the mound for the St. Louis Cardinals in the opener of a weekend series against the Baltimore Orioles at Busch Stadium.

Tomko will try to pick up where Woody Williams left off. Williams carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning Thursday, and the Cardinals went on to complete a sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays with a 13-5 victory.

Williams also hit his first career triple and drove in a career-high four runs for St. Louis, which outscored the highest-scoring team in baseball 32-15 in the series.

Albert Pujols, who leads the NL with a .379 average, was 3-for-3 with two RBIs.

Despite getting nearly four runs of support per game over his last six starts, Tomko is winless since April 25. The hard-throwing right-hander is 0-2 in that span, allowing at least three earned runs in four of those outings.

Tomko gave up three earned runs and six hits over six innings in the Cardinals’ 5-4 win over Pittsburgh on Sunday.

The Orioles come in after being swept by the Houston Astros, capped by Thursday’s 11-1 drubbing.

Brian Roberts drove in the lone run for Baltimore, which began the series on a three-game winning streak.

Roberts, promoted from the minors last week to replace injured second baseman Jerry Hairston Jr., went 2-for-5 and is batting .364 (8-for-22) during a five-game hitting streak with a double and four RBIs.

STANDINGS: Orioles - 4th place, 5 1/2 GB, AL East. Cardinals - 3rd place, 1 GB, NL Central.

ORIOLES PROBABLE STARTER: Rick Helling (3-4, 5.82 ERA). Helling is coming off a 7-1 home victory over Texas on Saturday in which he allowed an earned run and six hits over seven innings. The right-hander had given up 11 earned runs over his previous two starts, spanning just nine innings. In six career appearances, including two starts, against the Cardinals, Helling is 1-2 with a 4.74 ERA.

CARDINALS PROBABLE STARTER: Tomko (2-4, 4.44 ERA). Tomko, who will be facing the Orioles for the first time, has 10 strikeouts over his last two starts.

OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Orioles - Melvin Mora, .359 avg. and 37 runs; Tony Batista and Jay Gibbons, 9 HRs; Jeff Conine, 41 RBIs; Hairston, 14 SBs. Cardinals - Pujols, .379 avg., 16 HRs and 51 runs; Scott Rolen, 46 RBIs; Edgar Renteria, 8 SBs.

INTERLEAGUE RECORDS: Orioles - 0-3; Cardinals - 3-0.

STREAKS AND NOTES: Orioles - In four appearances, including one start, at Busch Stadium, RHP Helling is 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA. … Baltimore is 14-3 when its starting pitcher goes at least seven innings. … LF Mora went 2-for-4 Thursday, extending his hitting streak to 17 games. Cardinals - There hasn’t been a no-hitter at Busch Stadium since Bob Forsch beat Montreal in 1983. … RF J.D. Drew was out of the lineup Thursday for the second straight day but hopes to play on Friday. He is being bothered by a sprained left ankle, suffered in spring training. … The Cardinals have four series sweeps in seven seasons of interleague play. Their previous interleague sweep came over Kansas City last year.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Orioles - 14-16 on the road; Cardinals - 20-11 at home.

INJURIES: Orioles - INF Hairston (leg), 15-day DL; OF Larry Bigbie (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Rodrigo Lopez (oblique), 15-day DL; LHP Erik Bedard (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Scott Erickson (shoulder), 60-day DL; OF Albert Belle (hip), 60-day DL; OF Marty Cordova (elbow), 60-day DL. Cardinals - C Steve Torrealba (elbow), 15-day DL; 2B Fernando Vina (hamstring), 15-day DL; OF Eli Marrero (ankle), 15-day DL; RHP Jason Isringhausen (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Lance Painter (pelvis), 15-day DL; RHP Russ Springer (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Chris Carpenter (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Gene Stechschulte (shoulder), 60-day DL; C Joe Girardi (back), 60-day DL.

Related Articles

Starting Pitchers

R. Helling Mil vs. B. Tomko Cin
8-8 Record 13-9
5.17 ERA 5.28
98 K 114
45 BB 57
1.37 WHIP 1.52