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Phillies, Pivetta look to snap 3-game skid against Cardinals

By Matt Rappa, Sports Talk Philly editor

ST. LOUIS — The Philadelphia Phillies (21-38) and rookie RHP Nick Pivetta will oppose five-year veteran RHP Carlos Martinez and the St. Louis Cardinals (27-32) Saturday afternoon in the second of a three-game set at Busch Stadium. Pivetta will make his sixth Major League start, in search of snapping the Phillies' current three-game skid.

Right-handed starter Jeremy Hellickson suffered his fourth defeat of the season in the Phillies' 3-2 series opener loss on Friday. Both clubs exchanged a pair of runs in the third inning, the Phillies' via a back-to-back RBI single and triple by first baseman Tommy Joseph and right fielder Aaron Altherr, respectively. Cardinals shortstop Aledmys Diaz's go-ahead solo home run in the fifth proved to be the game-winner. Right-hander Casey Fien made his Phillies debut, tossing two shutout innings in relief with a strikeout and one hit allowed.

The Phillies will look to avoid their fifth consecutive series loss against the Cardinals on Saturday, with their last victory occurring August 22-24, 2014 at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies have not won a series at Busch Stadium since May 24-27, 2012. Manager Pete Mackanin's club is winless in its last seven series on the road this season.

Starting Pitching Matchup:

Philadelphia Phillies (21-38) St. Louis Cardinals (27-32)
RHP Nick Pivetta RHP Carlos Martinez
(1-2, 5.18 ERA) (4-5, 3.29 ERA)

Pivetta Career vs. STL: N/A

Pivetta, 24, has allowed 14 runs on 32 hits, 12 walks, five home runs and 25 strikeouts through his first five career starts (24 1/3 innings pitched).

On April 30, the right-hander received the call-up from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to replace then-injured RHP Aaron Nola (back) in the starting rotation. Pivetta was optioned down on May 18 after four starts, but has since been recalled as of last Monday to serve as the fill-in for injured RHP Vince Velasquez (mild right flexor strain).

In his most recent start on June 5 against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park, Pivetta earned his first Major League victory, allowing three runs on six hits, three walks and four strikeouts through five innings. Just one of Pivetta's five career starts to date have occurred at Citizens Bank Park (May 5).

Martinez Career vs. PHI: 2-0, 3.21 ERA, 5 G, 2 GS, 14 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 5 ER, HR, 4 BB, 9 SO, 0.929 WHIP

Over his last five starts, Martinez, 25, is 2-2 with a 2.65 ERA and a .167/.237/.278 opposing slash.

The Dominican Republic native's last start against the Phillies came in the Cardinals' 5-2 win on April 29, 2015. The right-hander allowed two runs that evening through six innings on six hits, three walks and three strikeouts.

Just four active Phillies have faced Martinez previously in their careers: shortstop Freddy Galvis (1-3), center fielder Odubel Herrera (2-3, RBI, SO), INF/OF Howie Kendrick (0-3, SO) and catcher Cameron Rupp (0-2, SO).

Starting Lineups:

Philadelphia Phillies (21-38) St. Louis Cardinals (27-32)
  Position Player Bats   Position Player Bats
1 CF Odubel Herrera L 1 1B Matt Carpenter L
2 RF Aaron Altherr R 2 CF Dexter Fowler S
3 LF Howie Kendrick R 3 RF Stephen Piscotty R
4 1B Tommy Joseph R 4 3B Jedd Gyorko R
5 3B Maikel Franco R 5 SS Aledmys Diaz R
6 2B Andres Blanco S 6 LF Tommy Pham R
7 C Cameron Rupp R 7 2B Kolten Wong L
8 SS Freddy Galvis S 8 C Eric Fryer R
9 P Nick Pivetta R 9 P Carlos Martinez R

Broadcast Information:

  • First pitch: 2:15 p.m.
  • TV: CSN
  • Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP

Game Notes:

  • Second baseman Cesar Hernandez is out Saturday with side discomfort. The Phillies have not ruled out placing the switch-hitter on the 10-day disabled list.
  • Herrera is in the midst of an eight-game hitting streak, batting .438/.455/.938 with eight runs, 10 doubles, two home runs, nine RBIs and a walk over 32 at-bats. Joseph has an active five-game streak, with seven hits over his last 20 at-bats.
  • The Phillies have lost seven of their last eight games at Busch Stadium, outscored and outhit 47-20 and 81-56, respectively.
  • St. Louis entered Friday's series opener coming off of an 0-7 road trip, with their starters recording zero quality starts and a 7.00 ERA, notes CSNPhilly.com's Jim Salisbury.

NL East Standings (entering June 10, 2017)

  W L GB L10 Streak Home Road
Washington Nationals 38 22 -- 7-3 L1 17-10 21-12
Atlanta Braves 27 32 10.5 5-5 W3 13-14 14-18
Miami Marlins 27 33 11.0 7-3 W3 14-16 13-17
New York Mets 25 33 12.0 4-6 L1 14-19 11-14
Philadelphia Phillies 21 38 16.5 4-6 L3 12-14 9-24

What's Next:

  • Sunday, June 11, 2017: at St. Louis Cardinals, 2:15 p.m.
    • Busch Stadium
    • RHP Aaron Nola (3-3, 4.28 ERA) vs. RHP Adam Wainwright (6-4, 4.82 ERA)
    • TV: CSN; Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP


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