August 30 (Game 2): Cubs (61-74) @ Cardinals (71-63)
If the Cardinals want to earn a split of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Cubs, it will have to come behind Marco Gonzales, who was summoned as the “26th man” for the day. He’ll return to Triple-A Memphis after the game, ready to help the Redbirds if they advance into the postseason.
First, however, he will try to help the Cardinals get some semblance of positive momentum. The team has lost six of eight and risks falling into a second-place tie with the Pirates if the Cardinals lose tonight. (Pittsburgh defeated the Reds, 3-2, earlier today).
Gonzales made three starts for the Cardinals earlier this season, but is still seeking his first Major League win. He’s also yet to pitch beyond the fifth inning. Fortunately, Tyler Lyons was able to save the bullpen with his extended relief effort, so the Cardinals do have coverage behind Gonzales.
Of course, the Game 2 outcome doesn’t lie solely on Gonzales’ shoulders. The Cardinals’ offense has been dormant over the past week, scoring 10 runs over the last six games. The Cubs have blasted seven home runs in this series, which is the Cardinals’ team total over their last 18 games. St. Louis is 3-for-17 with runners in scoring position in this series.
Kolten Wong, Peter Bourjos, Oscar Taveras and Yadier Molina are each starting Game 2 after being out of the Game 1 lineup. Daniel Descalso gets a second start, this time spelling Jhonny Peralta at short.
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