Lance Lynn beat every other Major League pitcher to four wins as Chris Carpenter's replacement. Now he'll try for win No. 5 when the St. Louis Cardinals host the Pittsburgh Pirates tonight at Busch Stadium.
Lynn has been superb in four starts while Carpenter sits on the disabled lost with nerve irritation in his right shoulder. Lynn has allowed only one run in each of his four trips to the mound and tossed a season-high eight innings in last Wednesday's 5-1 win at the Chicago Cubs. Lynn struck out seven batters and allowed six hits and two walks.
"Coming into Spring Training, my only goal was to make the team, even if it was a guy that was carrying the bags," Lynn said on the ballclub's website. "I wanted to pitch as well as I could. So far, I'm getting the job done. Hopefully I can keep doing this."
The young right-hander, who is 4-0 with a 1.33 ERA, was the 39th overall pick in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft and defeated Pittsburgh already this season on April 20 with seven innings of one-run ball in a 4-1 triumph. He is 1-0 with a 2.00 ERA in two career games (1 start) against the Pirates. Lynn will make just his second start at home Wednesday and has pitched from behind for only one of his 27 innings.
St. Louis gave Adam Wainwright more than enough run support in last night's 10-7 win over the Pirates in the series opener. Rafael Furcal, Matt Holliday and David Freese all homered and Yadier Molina collected two hits and three runs scored for the NL Central-leading Cardinals, who have won four of five games and improved to 3-1 on a six-game residency.
Wainwright gave up four runs on five hits and one walk with six strikeouts over seven innings. Jason Motte worked a scoreless ninth to earn his fourth save of the season.
"I thought he did a nice job," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said of Wainwright. "He made some quality pitches when he needed to and his offense picked him up tonight."
Allen Craig added an RBI single and was activated off the disabled list earlier on Tuesday. He began the season on the DL recovering from offseason surgery to repair a fractured right kneecap.
Charlie Morton became the first Pirates starter to allow more than three runs and was hit for six -- five earned -- and eight hits in 4 1/3 innings. He struck out five and walked two batters. Jared Hughes surrendered three runs -- one earned -- in relief.
"I do like the fact that we were finding our offense a little bit," said Pirates manager Clint Hurdle. "But again, we are always going to talk about the complete package. We weren't complete off the mound and we weren't complete on defense."
Hurdle was alluding to a pair of two-run homers by Jose Tabata and Pedro Alvarez. Alvarez finished with three RBI and Garrett Jones drove in two runs on a single for the Pirates, who have alternated wins and losses over the past 12 games and are 2-3 on a seven-game road trip.
Pittsburgh is counting on newcomer A.J. Burnett to bounce back from his last start when he toes the rubber tonight. Burnett won his Pirates' debut on April 21 versus St. Louis with seven shutout innings to back a 2-0 triumph. He then suffered a loss at Atlanta on Friday, when he was reached for two runs and six hits in six innings of work.
Burnett, who missed time with a broken orbital suffered while going through bunting exercises during Spring Training, is 5-3 with a 2.74 ERA in nine career starts against St. Louis.
St. Louis took two of three meetings against the Pirates last month and has won nine of the last 12 contests in this series.