Cardinals, Braves set to play Father’s Day doubleheader

MLB Baseball

The St. Louis Cardinals and Atlanta Braves will complete their four-game series with a doubleheader on Father’s Day after heavy rains in the Atlanta area forced an early postponement of Saturday’s contest.

The pitching matchups for the first game are St. Louis’ Adam Wainwright (4-5, 3.95) against Atlanta’s Bryse Wilson (2-2, 4.38). The second game features a pair of southpaws — St. Louis’ Kwang Hyun Kim (1-4, 3.72) against Atlanta’s Drew Smyly (3-3, 5.63).

Wainwright has appeared in 19 games against the Braves, 14 of them as a starter, and compiled a 9-4 record with a 3.63 ERA. He was 5-2 at Turner Field, but is 0-1 in his lone start at Truist Park in 2019, when he allowed five runs in four innings of a 10-2 loss.

Wainwright is coming off his third straight quality start in a no-decision in a 4-2 win over Miami on June 14. He pitched six innings and allowed two runs, three walks and six strikeouts, one of them the 1,900th of his career.

Hyun limited the Marlins to one run on three hits in a no-decision while working a season-high six innings on Tuesday. The only issue was the career-high five walks. Hyun will be making his first career appearance against the Braves.

Smyly is coming off a solid effort last Sunday at Miami, picking up his first win since May 14. He allowed two runs in five innings and struck out six in a 6-4 win over the Marlins. In three starts in June, Smyly is 1-0 with a 4.63 ERA. Smyly has made only one career start against the Cardinals, that coming in 2019.

Wilson will be recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett to make the start and could stick around to fill the vacancy left by the injury to rookie Tucker Davidson, who was placed on the injured list with forearm inflammation.

Wilson was last recalled to make a start on May 22 and beat Pittsburgh. That night he went 6 2/3 innings and allowed only one run. Wilson has made only one career appearance against the Cardinals, a one-inning stint in 2018.

St. Louis continues to have trouble scoring runs. The Cardinals have lost 11 of their last 15 games and have scored only 10 runs in their last seven games. The team’s batting average has fallen to .226, next to last in the National League, and slugging third baseman Nolan Arenado is hitless in his last 20 at-bats and has seen his average drop 20 points to .266.

“Let’s not forget you’ll make things bigger than they are, and that’s when you get into trouble,” St. Louis manager Mike Shildt said. “We need to improve in areas and be more consistent. No doubt about it.”

Conversely, the Braves have scored at least eight runs in three of their last four games. Right fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. has reached base safely in 26 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the majors. Second baseman Ozzie Albies has 36 extra-base hits and lacked only a triple to hit for the cycle on Friday.

“It’s amazing what he does,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “Look at the track record and it just impresses me how consistent he stays. … It’s just an even-keeled, professional approach all the time.”

The Braves have another double-header on Monday in New York.

–Field Level Media

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