Giants at Cardinals
The St. Louis Cardinals will be looking to avoid their first three-game losing streak since mid-April when they host the San Francisco Giants on Friday night in the opener of a three-game series. St. Louis had won eight of nine before it was swept by visiting Boston in a two-game interleague set, including a 13-inning setback on Wednesday night.
The Cardinals wasted a strong start by National League ERA leader Mike Leake in their latest loss, blowing a four-run lead to relinquish sole possession of first place in the National League Central Division. Matt Carpenter was hitless in five at-bats Wednesday, but he has feasted on San Francisco's pitching, batting .431 in 30 career games. The Giants had a five-game winning streak snapped by Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw on Wednesday, but now they hit the road where they are a dismal 6-15. Catcher Buster Posey is 9-for-20 during a five-game hitting streak, boosting his batting average to an NL-best .378 through Wednesday's play.
TV: 8:15 p.m. ET, MLB Network, NBC Sports Bay Area (San Francisco), FSN Midwest (St. Louis)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Giants LH Matt Moore (2-4, 5.67 ERA) vs. Cardinals RH Michael Wacha (2-1, 3.19)
Similar to his team, there is a wide disparity between Moore's performance at home and on the road. He tossed 7 1/3 innings of one-run ball to beat Cincinnati last time out and lower his ERA at AT&T Park to 2.57, but he has been pounded to the tune of an 0-3 record and 10.50 ERA in four starts away from home. Carpenter is 2-for-3 against Moore, who will make his second start versus the Cardinals.
Wacha has pitched at least six innings in each of his six turns, recording five quality starts in that span, but he has not factored in the decision in the last three outings. Wacha owns a strong record in four career starts against San Francisco, logging a 1-0 record with a 1.88 ERA and .231 batting average against. Brandon Crawford is 4-for-5 with a pair of doubles and a triple against Wacha.
1. Cardinals rookie RF Magneuris Sierra (.367) has hit safely in all seven major league games.
2. The Giants activated closer Mark Melancon from the 10-day disabled list on Thursday.
3. Cardinals 2B Kolten Wong is coming off a three-hit game but he is only 8-for-47 against San Francisco pitching.