Preview: Mariners host Cardinals in interleague matchup at T-Mobile Park
Jul 2, 2019, 11:33 AM
The St. Louis Cardinals hope to have third baseman Matt Carpenter back when they open a three-game interleague series Tuesday at Seattle.
Carpenter was expected back in the lineup Sunday at San Diego after getting three days off to rest and work on his swing.
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But he came down with an illness and missed Sunday’s 5-3 victory in 11 innings against the Padres, which snapped St. Louis’ season-long five-game losing streak.
Carpenter, in a 4-for-31 slump, is batting just .216 this season with 10 home runs and 28 RBIs.
“Matt Carpenter is not going to sit on the bench,” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said. “Matt Carpenter is a player we need to perform for us, and he will perform for us. He needs to be in our lineup to get the opportunity to perform.”
Backup catcher Matt Wieters had the decisive blow Sunday, hitting a two-run homer into the rarely reached third level of seats on the Western Metal Supply Co. Building down the left-field line at Petco Park.
“It’s good to keep it fair and good to get a win,” said Wieters, who was 0 for 17 against left-handers this season until his homer off the Padres’ Brad Wieck. “As long as they go out, I don’t care how far.”
Cardinals shortstop Paul DeJong, who was announced Sunday as the team’s lone All-Star Game representative, said the key was “staying the course.”
“Taking advantage of mistakes, having a good approach, long at-bats — I thought we hit some good balls (Sunday),” DeJong told MLB.com. “For us, it’s just about staying in the game the whole time, even when we’re down early.”
The Cardinals are scheduled to send right-hander Jack Flaherty (4-5, 4.75 ERA), who has never faced the Mariners, to the mound Tuesday. Flaherty, who hasn’t won since May 14, has lost his past two starts. Last time out, last Tuesday at Oakland, Flaherty allowed a season-high seven runs on nine hits in 4 2/3 innings, with one walk and five strikeouts, in a 7-3 defeat.
The Mariners were swept in a three-game weekend series at Houston despite the first two games going to extra innings. The Astros won 6-1 on Sunday.
“It just goes to show how far we’ve come and where we’re going,” Mariners first baseman/designated hitter Daniel Vogelbach, who will also be going to the All-Star Game, told MLB.com. “Because that’s one of the best teams in baseball and has been for a couple years now. That’s back-to-back games we’ve given them everything they can handle.”
The Mariners plan to use right-handed reliever Matt Carasiti as an opener against St. Louis before handing the ball to veteran left-hander Wade LeBlanc (5-2, 5.27 ERA).
Carasiti, signed to a minor league deal three weeks ago, has twice pitched a scoreless first inning for Seattle.
LeBlanc was 3-0 in five June starts following an opener, including a 4-2 decision last Thursday at Milwaukee in which he allowed two runs on five hits in five innings, with one walk and six strikeouts. Both the runs he allowed came on solo homers, including an inside-the-park home run on a bloop down the left-field line.
LeBlanc is 1-1 with a 5.11 ERA in 10 career appearances against the Cardinals with two starts.
– Field Level Media
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