Published January 13, 2015
St. Louis right-hander Michael Wacha lived up to the hype in his major league debut last week.
Tyler Skaggs made his own noise for Arizona, earning another start.
The two young hurlers square off on Tuesday night when the Cardinals and Diamondbacks continue a four-game series.
With four starting pitchers, including Chris Carpenter, on the disabled list, the Cardinals opted to bring up the 21-year-old Wacha from Triple-A Memphis for a start last Thursday. The 19th overall pick of last year's draft had gone 4-0 with a 2.05 earned run average in nine starts and pitched a gem versus the Kansas City Royals.
Wacha retired the first 13 batters he faced and gave up just one run and two hits over seven innings without a walk. He also struck out six and was in line to get the win before the bullpen yielded three runs in the ninth frame of a 4-2 setback.
Skaggs, who will face the Cardinals for the first time in his career, was also solid in his season debut last Monday. After missing out on a rotation spot this past spring, the left-hander was added to the roster to pitch the first game of a doubleheader versus the Texas Rangers on Memorial Day.
He was stellar in the win, spinning six scoreless innings while yielding three hits and three walks with nine strikeouts. He also had his first major league hit with a leadoff single in the fourth inning.
"He executed a great game plan, had all of his pitches going," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said of Skaggs. "His change-up was lights out."
As the 26th man for the doubleheader, the 21-year-old Skaggs had to be sent back to the minors following the game, but was recalled from Triple-A Reno on Tuesday to take the place of Brandon McCarthy, who landed on the disabled list because of shoulder inflammation.
Skaggs went 1-3 with a 5.83 ERA in six starts last season. He'll try to even up this series after the Cardinals won Monday's opener 7-1.
Lance Lynn held Arizona to a run over seven innings to win his eighth game of the season, while Carlos Beltran and Yadier Molina both homered.
"When it's all said and done, it doesn't matter what your numbers are," Lynn said. "If the team wins, even if you do good or bad, that's the only point of going out there."
Molina was playing despite receiving a one-game suspension, which he appealed, earlier in the day. The veteran catcher got the ban for making contact with umpire Mike Everitt in the third inning of Sunday's loss to San Francisco during a argument after being called out on a close play at first.
David Freese extended his career-high hitting streak to 13 games for the Cards, winners in seven of their past nine, while teammate Matt Carpenter had three hits and scored three runs to push his hitting streak to 12 in a row.
Paul Goldschmidt knocked in Arizona's lone run, while starter Trevor Cahill was tagged for five runs on nine hits and three walks over five frames to absorb the loss.
"Really didn't have good command," Gibson said of Cahill. "His ball-to-strike ratio wasn't good and just made some pitches out over the plate."
Arizona had won five of its previous seven.
The Diamondbacks have lost five of their past six in St. Louis and nine of the last 12 encounters overall.