Jonathan Sanchez has never lost to the St. Louis Cardinals. Another win against them would be huge today, considering the Kansas City Royals hope to avoid a three-game sweep this weekend in the I-70 Series.
Sanchez brings in a 3-0 mark and a 2.78 ERA in six games (5 starts) all-time against St. Louis. Those appearances came when the lefty was a member of the Giants. Sanchez, though, hasn't won a game since his first start of this season, April 8 against the Angels. Since then, he's gone seven straight outings without a positive decision. Most recently, Sanchez pitched six frames in a loss at Houston on Monday.
Lance Lynn counters for the Cardinals. The righty gave up five runs in a loss at Detroit Tuesday, but Lynn has 27 strikeouts against just five walks over his last three starts. He is 6-2 with a 2.93 ERA in nine road starts this year. This will also be his first career appearance against the Royals.
Allen Craig hit a homer and knocked in three runs, Adam Wainwright tossed seven solid innings in St. Louis's 8-2 win yesterday.
Matt Holliday went 4-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored for the Cardinals, who won 11-4 in the opener of this set on Friday. Jon Jay, Carlos Beltran and Rafael Furcal had an RBI apiece.
Wainwright (6-7) gave up two runs on six hits to pick up the win. He struck out four and walked one.
"That's the key thing of pitching with the lineup like we have is just making sure you go deep into the game," Wainwright said. "Give your offense a chance to score a bunch of runs. I feel like our team is very talented."
Alex Gordon and Yuniesky Betancourt both knocked in a run for the Royals, who have lost two in a row after winning their previous two games.
Luis Mendoza (2-4) allowed four runs on seven hits over 4 1/3 innings. He has not won since May 13.
Alcides Escobar has been heating up at the plate for the Royals. The shortstop is hitting .367 over his last 13 games including seven multi-hit games during that span.
"We're still not swinging the bats the way that we can right now," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "We look for that to pick up. It kind of goes in spurts."
Beltran is just six hits away from 2,000 career hits and one RBI shy of 1,200. Yesterday, he extended his hitting streak to 14 games, the longest by a St. Louis player this season.
The Cardinals have won 15 of the last 22 encounters in the I-70 Series.