Pittsburgh (36-67) at St. Louis (58-46)

Fair Currently: St. Louis, MO
Temp: 69° F
  • Game info: 2:15 pm EDT Sun Aug 1, 2010
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Adam Wainwright(notes) had his worst start of the year in his last outing, but he’s facing the right team - in the right location - to get back on track.

The light-hitting Pittsburgh Pirates have scored one run in 19 innings so far in St. Louis, and the Cardinals right-hander will try to add to their misery while looking to improve to 11-0 at Busch Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Wainwright (14-6, 2.23 ERA) hadn’t allowed a run in 25 innings heading into Tuesday’s start at the New York Mets, going 3-0 with a 0.31 ERA in four July starts.

The streak was snapped in the second inning, and his struggles escalated from there. Wainwright was charged with six runs over five innings in an 8-2 loss as he fell to 4-6 on the road.

“I definitely got some bad breaks, but I certainly wasn’t commanding the zone like I normally do,” Wainwright told the Cardinals’ official website. “I got in some counts that you never want to get into. There were some bad breaks for sure, but I just didn’t execute, and poor execution leads to poor results.”

St. Louis (58-46) should feel awfully confident in Wainwright’s ability to bounce back. He’s 10-0 with a 1.22 ERA at home, both major-league bests.

Wainwright held the Pirates (36-67) to two runs over six innings in an 11-4 win at PNC Park on May 9, yet he’s 1-2 with a 4.74 ERA in four starts against Pittsburgh at Busch Stadium.

While Wainwright, Chris Carpenter(notes) and Jaime Garcia(notes) are a fantastic trio atop the rotation, St. Louis used Saturday’s trade deadline to add depth. The Cardinals parted with outfielder Ryan Ludwick(notes) in a three-way deal that got them Cleveland’s Jake Westbrook(notes).

Westbrook, who’s set to pitch Monday against Houston, may eventually replace Jeff Suppan(notes) in the rotation when Kyle Lohse(notes) returns. But Suppan looked good against the Pirates on Saturday, tossing 5 1-3 scoreless innings while the Cardinals’ offense didn’t miss Ludwick in an 11-1 rout.

Colby Rasmus(notes) hit his first homer since June 27, driving in three runs to equal his total in his first 22 July contests.

“I did feel pretty comfortable out there,” Rasmus said. “I’m not trying to reach for the stars; just play the game like I could play it.”

The last Pittsburgh pitcher to win in St. Louis was Zach Duke(notes) (5-9, 5.09) on April 8, 2009, and he’ll get the ball looking to help his team avoid its sixth straight loss at Busch.

Duke is 2-1 with a 3.18 ERA in three starts since returning from the disabled list with a strained elbow, winning his last two. He held Colorado to two runs and three hits over six innings Tuesday in a 4-2 victory.

“I wouldn’t say I’m stronger or better, I just feel like myself,” Duke said. “I’m not trying to do too much.”

Duke is 1-0 with a 1.25 ERA in his last three starts against the Cardinals, all at home. He’s 1-4 with a 4.58 ERA in six starts at St. Louis.

As always, he’ll need to pitch carefully to Albert Pujols(notes). The two-time reigning NL MVP is 16 for 38 with three homers against Duke.

The Pirates should have catcher Chris Snyder(notes) in the lineup a day after obtaining him in a five-player deal from Arizona, but the Cardinals wouldn’t mind if he wasn’t. Snyder is hitting .440 (11 for 25) against St. Louis in 2010.

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Starting Pitchers

Z. Duke CWS vs. A. Wainwright StL
8-15 Record 20-11
5.72 ERA 2.42
96 K 213
51 BB 56
1.65 WHIP 1.05


Sunday, Aug 1