Lance Lynn hasn't come close in his first three attempts at picking up his 11th victory of the season. The St. Louis Cardinals hurler hopes to finally break through this evening during his first career start against the Colorado Rockies in the finale of a four-game series.
Lynn is 0-2 with a 9.98 earned run average in three outings since his last win on June 13 over the White Sox. He has allowed 17 runs while lasting just 15 1/3 innings since and was touched early on in his most recent outing versus the Pirates on Saturday.
The right-hander loaded the bases in the first inning after getting two outs and then served up a 3-2 fastball to Pedro Alvarez that the Pittsburgh slugger drove over the fence for a grand slam. Lynn settled down a bit after that, but was charged with six runs on seven hits and four walks over five frames of a 7-3 defeat.
"He knew a fastball coming and he won ... That's just bad pitching right there. You can't give that guy a chance to do anything in the first inning," noted Lynn. "I just didn't get it done in the first inning, and that cost us the whole game right off the bat."
Lynn's earned run average stood at 2.42 after he beat the White Sox, but the 25-year-old has now dipped to 10-4 with a 3.62 ERA through 16 starts.
Colorado's Christian Friedrich is also looking for a return to the win column tonight as he hasn't won since June 4. The rookie left-hander lost four straight starts before not factoring into an 8-4 defeat on Saturday versus the Padres.
It was an outing that Friedrich could build off however as most of the damage came after his exit. The soon-to-be 25-year-old gave up just a run on five hits over five innings without a walk, striking out five.
"We pitched badly from the sixth inning on, because the job that Christian Friedrich did was just exceptional," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said.
Friedrich, who celebrates a birthday on Sunday, is 4-5 with a 5.52 ERA in 11 starts and faced the Cardinals for the first time.
After splitting the first two games of this series, the Cardinals grabbed the advantage with a 4-1 triumph last night. Adam Wainwright got the victory, giving up a run on eight hits over six innings while striking out seven.
"They put some tough at-bats on me and luckily I was able to work out of some jams," Wainwright said.
Matt Holliday hit an RBI double as part of his three-hit game and scored on David Freese's two-run base hit in the eighth inning for the Cards, who have won three of four and sit 2 1/2 games back of first place in the National League Central.
Jeremy Guthrie made his first start since June 17 and was charged with two runs on six hits over six innings in the loss. He added an RBI single for Colorado, which has dropped four of its last five games.
"A lot of what tonight boils down to is missed offensive opportunities," Tracy said.
The Cardinals have won 10 of their last 13 versus the Rockies, going 8-2 at home over that span.