The Pittsburgh Pirates finally broke through with an offensive bonanza and hope the attack doesn’t go back into a drought when they open a three-game series at the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday. Pittsburgh notched a season-high for runs scored by routing the Atlanta Braves 9-3 on Monday, a total that nearly doubled its previous season best of five. St. Louis held the Pirates to four total runs while winning two of three games April 20-22.
The National League Central-leading Cardinals boast a 2.61 ERA through 22 games despite Tuesday starter Adam Wainwright’s struggles. The St. Louis offense will soon receive a boost when 2011 postseason hero Allen Craig is activated after off-season knee surgery. First baseman Lance Berkman also is closing in on a return from a calf injury. Pittsburgh has tallied 58 runs in 22 games after the big performance against the Braves. Third baseman Pedro Alvarez and outfielder Yamaico Navarro each hit two-run homers. Alvarez already has five homers after clubbing four last season.
Pirates Cardinals Betting
When: 8:15 PM ET, Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Where: Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri
TV: 8:15 p.m. ET, ROOT Sports (Pittsburgh), FS Midwest (St. Louis)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Pirates RH Charlie Morton (1-1, 2.65 ERA) vs. Cardinals RH Adam Wainwright (0-3, 7.32)
Morton is coming off a strong outing in which he allowed one run and six hits in seven innings while beating the Colorado Rockies. He pitched five innings in each of his first two starts. Morton is 2-6 with a 5.80 ERA in 10 career outings against St. Louis.
Wainwright is still looking for his first victory since missing all of last season after Tommy John elbow surgery. He took a no-decision in his last start despite holding the Chicago Cubs to one run and six hits in six innings. Wainwright is 7-3 with a 4.76 ERA in 17 career outings (13 starts) against Pittsburgh.
1. Pittsburgh’s 22-game season-opening streak of scoring five or fewer runs was the longest since the 1972 Milwaukee Brewers went a record 31 games before scoring more than five.
2. St. Louis second baseman Skip Schumaker is batting .435 in 23 career at-bats against Morton.
3. Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen is hitting. 400 in 15 career at-bats against Wainwright.