|4:45 PM PT5:45 PM MT6:45 PM CT7:45 PM ET19:45 ET23:45 GMT7:45 4:45 PM MST6:45 PM EST7:15 PM VEN3:45 UAE (+1)6:45 PM CT, May 9, 2019
Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri Attendance: 38,925
Cards look to turn homestand around vs. Pirates
The Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals could be a little sour going into their four-game series that starts Thursday.
The Cardinals will be continuing a seven-game homestand that is going sideways at 1-2, including 11-1 and 5-0 losses to Philadelphia the past two days. The defeat Wednesday marked the second time in six games St. Louis was shut out, and the Cardinals mustered a season-low three hits. Overall, the Cardinals have lost six of seven.
The Pirates have won three of their past four, but a 9-6 home loss to Texas on Wednesday could dampen their momentum after they blew a four-run lead on Hunter Pence's grand slam in the eighth before allowing three more Rangers runs in the ninth.
Pittsburgh has been dealing with injuries to pitchers that limit some options, and that was apparent in the late innings Wednesday. They placed reliever Keone Kela on the 10-day injured list following the game because of right shoulder inflammation.
"We weren't able to close the game out," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle told reporters following the loss. "It's a test, and it tests you differently through different parts of the season based on what you have available and how the season's playing out."
The Pirates are heading into their longest trip of the season and their longest since they played 12 road games in 13 days in 2005. This 11-gamer goes to through St. Louis, Arizona and San Diego.
"It's going to take us to some tough teams," Hurdle said.
In the series opener Thursday, Pittsburgh right-hander Joe Musgrove (1-3, 2.63 ERA) is scheduled to face St. Louis righty Michael Wacha (2-0, 5.17).
Wacha has not pitched past the fifth inning in two starts since he came off the IL. This will be his third start at Busch Stadium, where he has allowed eight runs in 9 1/3 innings.
His last time out, a 6-5 Cardinals loss to the Cubs in Chicago on Saturday, Wacha had two hits and two RBIs, but the pitching didn't go so well. He got a no-decision after allowing five runs, four of them earned, and six hits in five innings, with four strikeouts and four walks.
"There were some hot rockets out there," Wacha told reporters. "They were picking them."
Wacha is 6-3 with a 3.53 ERA in 15 career starts against Pittsburgh.
Musgrove is coming off a start he would like to forget. In his shortest outing of the season, he gave up seven runs, five of them earned, in 2 2/3 innings Friday in Pittsburgh's worst loss of the season, 14-1 against Oakland.
"The important thing is being able to put this behind you and be good in your next start and not let this one linger and bleed into the next one," Musgrove said.
"These nights are going to happen throughout the course of the season, but (it was) a really important day. I can either sit and dwell about this outing and overanalyze it, or pick out the things I did wrong, look at the few things I did right and move on."
Musgrove has gone at least six innings in his other five starts.
Against the Cardinals, he is 1-2 with a 4.26 ERA in three career starts.
--Field Level Media
Updated May 8, 2019