|4:15 PM PT5:15 PM MT6:15 PM CT7:15 PM ET19:15 ET23:15 GMT7:15 4:15 PM MST6:15 PM EST6:45 PM VEN3:15 UAE (+1)6:15 PM CT, July 13, 2019
Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri Attendance: 46,152
Lamb, D-backs look to take down Cards again
If the Arizona Diamondbacks are going to make a playoff push, it will help to have Jake Lamb looking like his old self.
Lamb has two home runs in his past three games, including a tiebreaking shot off Andrew Miller in Arizona's 4-2 victory at the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night. He will look to keep the offense going in the second game of the three-game series Saturday in a matchup of rookie starters -- Arizona's Merrill Kelly vs. St. Louis' Dakota Hudson.
Lamb, an All-Star in 2017 when he hit 30 homers, had his 2018 season end July 26 because of a rotator cuff injury that required surgery. He went to the injured list this season after five games because of a quadriceps injury.
He returned June 26 and hit his first home run in more than a year last Saturday against the Colorado Rockies. Now, he might be heating up.
"You can't rush," Lamb told Fox Sports Arizona. "I feel the rhythm coming back. At-bats do the trick. There is really no way to simulate that. And then it's just playing the game and making sure the game slows down on you."
Lamb's presence at third base allows the Diamondbacks to move Eduardo Escobar to second base, which puts All-Star Ketel Marte in center field. Lamb entered the season as a potential platoon partner for right-handed hitting first baseman Christian Walker, but Walker's 18 home runs -- including one Friday night -- won't be easy to take out of the lineup.
Lamb's homer Friday came on a tough lefty-lefty matchup and gave the D-backs a 2-1 lead in the seventh.
"He's worked extremely hard to get back to this level," manager Torey Lovullo said of Lamb. "It just took time for him to get his health back."
Kelly (7-8, 4.03 ERA) has pitched well since the start of June, with a 2.98 ERA in 45 1/3 innings, spanning seven starts. He last pitched July 3 at the Los Angeles Dodgers, allowing three runs on six hits in six innings. The 30-year-old has never faced the Cardinals.
Hudson (7-4, 3.51) has been a solid addition to the Cardinals' rotation this season, making eight consecutive quality starts from May 12 to June 22 as he dropped his ERA from 4.63 to 3.36 in that span. The 24-year-old struggled in a start at the San Diego Padres on June 29 -- seven runs (one earned) in 1 2/3 innings -- before picking up a win with a three-run, five-inning outing at San Francisco on July 5.
The Cardinals have third baseman Matt Carpenter back from the injured list (back strain), although he was not in his usual leadoff spot Friday. He went 1-for-4 batting fifth, while Tommy Edman hit first in the order.
"It will be fluid," manager Mike Shildt told reporters of the leadoff spot. "Tommy has done a nice job in the leadoff spot; he's proven that."
Carpenter has struggled this season; his power numbers are down and he's hitting .216. He is batting .148 in 64 plate appearances leading off a game.
St. Louis first baseman Paul Goldschmidt went 0-for-4 Friday night, facing his former team for the first time. Like with Carpenter, the Cardinals need Goldschmidt's power numbers to return to career levels in the second half.
"I just went out there like any other game and tried to have good at-bats and help us win," Goldschmidt said. "I wasn't able to produce tonight. Move on. Try to be better tomorrow."
Arizona has won four in a row, while the Cardinals have lost three consecutive games.
--Field Level Media
Updated July 13, 2019