video thumbnail

CHC@STL: Lynn strikes out six over six strong innings

When Lance Lynn picked up his 10th win last week, he became the third National League pitcher to reach the mark, but he was mostly concerned with the in-house competition.

"Tied Adam [Wainwright]," Lynn said after the game. "Everyone has a friendly competition, and I definitely have one with him, and it's good to be tied with him."

Wainwright picked up a loss against the Rangers on Sunday, remaining in a three-way tie with Lynn and Washington's Jordan Zimmermann. Despite playing in the shadow of St. Louis' ace and falling below the radar with the hype surrounding the Cardinals' rookie pitchers, Lynn has an opportunity to pass Wainwright and become the NL's first 11-game winner Wednesday against the Astros. Zimmermann also starts Wednesday, facing the D-backs.

"He's one of the guys that doesn't get the attention that some of the others are getting and I think he's fine with that," said manager Mike Matheny. "Or maybe I'm fine with that. Everybody wants to be recognized for what you're doing. He's done a great job. He's a workhorse. We'd love to continue to watch him improve and grow as a pitcher, and I think there's better things ahead for him than what we've even seen so far."

The Astros will send left-hander Erik Bedard to the mound opposite Lynn. He is 2-3 with a 4.43 ERA in 15 games and is coming off an excellent one-run, four-hit start against the Brewers.

Bedard has held opponents to two or fewer runs in seven of his last eight starts since returning to the rotation in early May, and the Cardinals have struggled against left-handers. Entering Tuesday night's game, St. Louis was batting .232 vs. lefties as opposed to .288 vs. righties and suffered back-to-back losses at the hands of Rangers left-handers Derek Holland and Martin Perez last weekend.

The Cardinals dominated the Astros on Tuesday with a 13-5 victory, and Houston has now lost three of its last five.

"We're at a point in our schedule we're looking to win every series in which we play," said manager Bo Porter. "And it just so happens the Cardinals are on our schedule and we're looking forward to the challenge."

Cardinals: Holliday moves down in the lineup as DH
• Matt Holliday, who has struggled to get into a rhythm at the plate, was the designated hitter Tuesday and was moved down to the five hole.

Holliday is hitting .267, down from his .310 career average.

"I'm trying to get him going more than anything," Matheny said. "I know he belongs in that three spot, but I've said before, we have five guys who could hit there. I had a conversation with him and he feels good, about it. I'm trying to get it going in a positive direction. It's just making some changes to see if we can jump-start him."

Holliday had hit from the third spot in 304 of his 305 at-bats this season. He was 1-for-4 in the fifth hole Tuesday, with one run, one walk and a strikeout.

"I made sure he knew how I was thinking," Matheny said. "We talked, and he's a smart baseball guy and he gets it. Matt's all about this team. As a manager, it's my responsibility to put guys in a good position."

Astros: Wallace back in lineup
• Brett Wallace went 1-for-4 with a two-run triple and scored a run Tuesday in his first game back from a stint in Triple-A. Wallace was sent down after he opened the season in a 1-for-24 slump that included 17 strikeouts.

"It's good to get Brett back," Porter said. "He went to Triple-A and did everything we asked him to do. He swung the bat well down there, played first and third. He was on the Opening Day roster and was one of our starters and had a setback, but at the same time, he's earned the right to have this opportunity."

Wallace said he made a few minor adjustments to his swing in the Minors and used the time to regain confidence and get into a rhythm at the plate.

"Hitting's crazy in that sense," Wallace said. "You can lose your rhythm pretty quickly, but you can also gain it back quite quickly. Once I got down there and started doing my work, I feel like I got my rhythm back quickly and from there, just tried to work hard every day."

Worth noting
• St. Louis' Allen Craig drove in three runs Tuesday, bringing his June RBI total to 24, improving on his career-best monthly RBI total.

• Houston right fielder Justin Maxwell exited Tuesday's game with a mild concussion after hitting his head on the ground while diving for a ball.

MLB.com Comments