St. Louis (19-11) at Pittsburgh (13-16)

Fair Currently: Pittsburgh, PA
Temp: 72° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Sat May 8, 2010
  • TV: FSMW, FSPI
Preview | Box Score | Recap

While the Pittsburgh Pirates never have success when they face Chris Carpenter(notes), going up against Jaime Garcia(notes) could be even tougher.

The impressive rookie looks to win his third straight start Saturday night when the St. Louis Cardinals continue a three-game road series against the Pirates.

Pittsburgh (13-16) dropped its 12th straight game started by Carpenter, falling 4-3 in Friday’s series opener. Carpenter did not earn the victory, allowing two runs and striking out eight in seven innings to remain 11-1 against the Pirates.

Garcia (3-1, 1.13 ERA), who will make his first start against Pittsburgh, has been sensational through five starts with the lowest ERA in the Cardinals’ rotation. He has pitched at least six innings every time and allowed one earned run or none in four of those outings.

The left-hander gave up one run over six innings Monday to earn a 6-3 victory at Philadelphia, and was praised for his poise.

“I think that’s something I’ve worked on,” Garcia told the Cardinals’ official website. “Keep the same mentality, same focus. Keep it simple. Just try to do your thing.”

Garcia has pitched a total of 3 1-3 scoreless innings of relief against the Pirates, making his major league debut versus them with two innings July 11, 2008.

The Cardinals (19-11) ended a three-game skid with Friday’s win. Yadier Molina’s(notes) tie-breaking RBI double in the ninth inning gave St. Louis its seventh victory in its last eight games at Pittsburgh.

Molina had four hits and three RBIs and Matt Holliday(notes) added four hits for St. Louis, which has won its first four division series this year. The Cardinals have won the middle game of every set against NL Central foes.

Albert Pujols(notes) went 0 for 5 as his 11-game hitting streak ended. The effort also snapped his 12-game streak at PNC Park, where he’s a career .382 hitter.

The Pirates failed to record their first four-game win streak, as starter Zach Duke(notes) allowed three unearned runs. Andrew McCutchen(notes) had three hits, and is 7 for 10 with four runs scored in his last three games.

“We gave that game away, flat out,” McCutchen said.

Pittsburgh’s Jeff Karstens(notes) (0-1, 6.17), recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis on April 27, will make his first home start. He yielded six runs over five innings Sunday in a 9-3 loss at Los Angeles.

“My fastball was flat and there were just too many balls that were elevated,” he said.

The right-hander is 2-7 with a 4.78 ERA in 11 career starts at PNC Park.

Karstens’ lone career start against the Cardinals was a 5-1 loss May 14, 2009, in which he allowed three runs in six innings, although he held Pujols hitless in three at-bats.

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Starting Pitchers

J. GarcĂ­a StL vs. J. Karstens Pit
13-8 Record 3-10
2.70 ERA 4.92
132 K 72
64 BB 27
1.32 WHIP 1.41

Scoreboard

Saturday, May 8