The St. Louis Cardinals got a much-needed strong pitching performance from a starter Sunday as Lance Lynn went 7 1/3 innings in a 2-1 win over the Detroit Tigers.
But the Redbirds will turn, in desperation, to oft-injured veteran Jaime Garcia as they try to fill in the hole in the rotation caused by the season-ending injury to ace Adam Wainwright.
Lynn battled, throwing 119 pitches in earning his third win. He scattered six hits and allowed one run. He issued two walks and collected seven strikeouts against a powerful and prolific Tigers offense.
Lynn drove in the trying run himself in the third inning after Detroit scored in the first. Then second baseman Kolten Wong blasted a solo homer in the sixth to provide the winning run.
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The weekend match-up was the second series lost out of the Cardinals’ last three.
St. Louis was bombed in the opener 10-4 as young starter Carlos Martinez racked up his pitch count early and was forced to depart after only five innings. On Saturday the Redbirds lost in extra innings 4-3 after a befuddling trio of base running gaffes that prevented what should have been the deciding runs.
Tyler Lyons, the team’s second attempt to plug the Wainwright-sized hole in the rotation, managed 3 2/3 innings Saturday in which he allowed seven hits and three runs.
In three starts, Lyons manged to pitch only 13 innings, allowing 18 hits and five walks. Opponents were batting .321 against him as he compiled a 5.54 earned run average.
Garcia has been out since the middle of last season and has struggled to stay healthy since 2011. But the Cardinals are forced to hope he can hold things together to give the bullpen a much-needed break.
That seems like an iffy proposition not only because of his extensive injury history. But also because Garcia didn’t exactly dominate minor league hitting during his rehab assignment.
He allowed six hits and five earned runs in a a 2 2/3-inning performance at Class AAA Memphis and he allowed six hits and two runs in six innings of work at Class AA Springfield. That’s a 7.27 ERA against much weaker hitters than he’ll see in the majors.
But the Cardinals don’t really have much of a choice at this point. Fellow lefty hurler Marco Gonzales has been creamed by minor league hitters as he tries to rehab from a shoulder injury.
Garcia has allowed a total of 32 hits in 22 innings of Class AAA work this season and has an ERA of 7.66.