After snapping a three-game skid with a loud offensive performance, the St. Louis Cardinals will look keep the Arizona Diamondbacks struggling when the teams open a three-game set in the desert Monday. Arizona returns home after a 5-5 road trip, but it has dropped four of its last five.
The Diamondbacks’ offense couldn’t get going against the New York Mets, both in Sunday’s 3-1 loss and the series itself. Arizona went 3-for-28 with runners in scoring position over the weekend. St. Louis’ offense was clicking on all cylinders as Tyler Greene recorded his first two-homer game of his career and Allen Craig went deep for the first time since Game 7 of the World Series in Sunday’s 8-1 triumph over Houston.
Cardinals Diamondbacks Betting
When: 9:40 PM ET, Monday, May 7, 2012
Where: Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona
TV: 9:40 p.m. ET, FSMW (St. Louis), FSAZ (Arizona)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Cardinals RH Lance Lynn (5-0, 1.60 ERA) vs. Diamondbacks LH Joe Saunders (2-1, 1.24 ERA)
Lynn will vie for his league-leading sixth win. The 24-year-old has permitted just six runs and struck out 30 in 33 2/3 innings in 2012. He yielded a season-high two runs on three hits in 6 2/3 innings in his last trip to the mound, a 12-3 triumph over Pittsburgh on Wednesday. Last season, Lynn worked two scoreless outings in relief against the Diamondbacks.
Saunders has been solid for Arizona, yielding just seven runs on 26 hits in 36 1/3 innings. The 30-year-old settled for a no-decision after allowing three runs on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings versus Washington on Wednesday. Saunders won his lone career start versus St. Louis, but overcame four walks in five innings to pick up the victory.
1. Home has hardly been a safe haven for Arizona, which has lost seven of nine in the Grand Canyon State this season.
2. Matt Holliday, who saw his five-game hitting streak end Sunday, has struggled versus Saunders. He is 1-for-9 in his career versus the lefty.
3. St. Louis first baseman Lance Berkman has been testing his pulled left calf, which sent him to the 15-day disabled list. The veteran has noted improvement, but admitted that he plans to run harder Monday to “try to push it a little bit more.”