MLB

Cardinals look to tighten up defense in middle game vs. Toronto

The Cardinals will try to rebound from an especiallydifficult loss when they host the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday night in the middle game of a three-game set at Busch Stadium.

The Cardinals had won six of seven games before dropping a 6-5 decision to Toronto in 11 innings Tuesday night. The loss was particularly frustrating because the team's weakness since the season's beginning -- poor defense -- showed up in a big way.

The Cardinals (9-11) committed a season-high four errors, all contributing to runs. Stephen Piscotty's fourth-inning throwing error from right field was a tough one; he had Ezequiel Carrera nailed before his strike bonked Carrera in the helmet and bounced out of play.

More from FoxSports

Third baseman Jedd Gyorko bobbled a grounder from Carrera in the seventh as Kevin Pillar scored. In the ninth, reliever Brett Cecil's wild pickoff throw to first moved Pillar to third, and Jose Bautista cashed him in with a one-out single.

And in the 11th, shortstop Aledmys Diaz canceled out a fine tumbling stop on Steve Pearce's hot grounder by flinging a throw wide of first for the miscue that scored the winning run.

The Cardinals have committed 19 errors, tying them with the Pittsburgh Pirates for the most in the majors. St. Louis' .973 fielding percentage is the worst in the majors.

"That's something that really stands out," St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said of the volume of errors. "Missed plays, we've got to get better. Work and have a high expectation of what the results should look like. We still have a long way to go."

The Cardinals will try to square up the series behind right-hander Carlos Martinez (0-3, 4.76 ERA), who has lost three consecutive starts since throwing 7 1/3 scoreless innings on Opening Night against the Chicago Cubs. Martinez has pitched just once against Toronto, retiring the only two hitters he faced in relief during a June 2014 matchup.

Veteran right-hander Mat Latos (0-0, 7.20) gets the call for the Blue Jays, coming off a no-decision Friday night at the Los Angeles Angels.

Latos has faced St. Louis 13 times in his career, and the results haven't always been pretty: 5-6 with a 5.76 ERA.

The Blue Jays are trying to win their first series of the season. Injuries have affected the Blue Jays heavily in the early going.

Toronto (6-14) is playing without its left side of the infield. Third baseman Josh Donaldson and shortstop Troy Tulowitzki are both on the 10-day disabled list. The Jays also are toiling without starting pitchers J.A. Happ and Aaron Sanchez.

Yet manager John Gibbons appreciates the effort his players bring every day. Ten of the team's 20 games have been decided by a run, and Tuesday was just the Jays' third win in those close encounters.

"We've made a run at it every night, even though we haven't won many," Gibbons said. "The boys have a lot of character. This was a big win for us."