Goldschmidt looks to lead Cardinals over Reds

Field Level Media

St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt is still trying to find the swing that made him a National League All-Star for six consecutive seasons.

He'll continue to work toward that goal when the Cardinals visit the Cincinnati Reds in the opener of a four-game series on Thursday night.

Goldschmidt hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning on Wednesday afternoon to lift St. Louis to a 6-5 win against the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates in the rubber game of a three-game series.

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The Cardinals are 4-2 coming out of the All-Star break.

Since breaking into the majors full time in 2012, Goldschmidt hasn't hit lower than .286 in the past seven seasons, all with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

After getting traded to the Cardinals in the offseason, however, Goldschmidt hasn't hit better than .280 since going 0-for-4 against the Reds on April 28, dropping his average to .274.

He's currently at .251.

"Not getting too high or too low in this game is important," Goldschmidt told Fox Sports Midwest after the Wednesday win.

Cardinals right-hander Dakota Hudson will try to win his third straight start in July when he opposes the Reds on Thursday. Hudson has benefited from early run support in his past two outings, which was helpful considering he wasn't particularly sharp in either appearance.

He allowed three runs and six hits over five innings in a 9-4 win at San Francisco on July 5. He struck out six and walked three.

Hudson (8-4, 3.48 ERA) was better his last time out on Saturday, but he still struggled with his control at times. He allowed two runs and three hits in six innings of a 4-2 win against the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks, striking out five and walking four.

Hudson made his only two career starts against the Reds this season.

He allowed three runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings on April 27 in St. Louis, earning the win in the 6-3 victory.

He was even better when the Reds returned to St. Louis in early June, allowing one run and five hits in 6 1/3 innings, but he did not receive the decision in a 3-1 win by the Cardinals.

Cincinnati lost 5-2 to the Cubs in Chicago on Wednesday afternoon, the second straight series coming out of the All-Star break that the Reds dropped the rubber game.

"Just a tough road trip in general, especially with only winning two games," Reds center fielder Nick Senzel, who left the Wednesday game due to hamstring tightness, told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "Plus, the injuries. It's tough. Next man up. We have to stay together as a club, can't get down. Still a lot of season left, so we're not going to give up."

Cincinnati will send veteran right-hander Tanner Roark to the mound in the series opener against St. Louis.

Roark will look to improve over his last outing on Saturday, when he sat through a rain delay of over three hours at Colorado and then allowed seven runs and a career-high 13 hits.

He lasted just 4 2/3 innings in the Reds' 17-9 victory, leaving him ineligible for the win.

Roark (5-6, 3.99 ERA) has faced the Cardinals once this season, allowing one run and six hits in 5 1/3 innings of a 5-2 win in Cincinnati on April 13. Roark did not receive a decision in that game, nor in his past three outings.

Roark is 2-3 in his career against St. Louis with a 5.74 ERA in eight games (six starts).

--Field Level Media

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