Series: Game 2 of 3

Baltimore leads 2-0 (as of 8/9)

Game 1: Friday, August 8
St. Louis2Final
Game 2: Saturday, August 9
St. Louis3Final
Game 3: Sunday, August 10
St. Louis8Final

Cardinals 3

(61-54, 28-29 away)

Orioles 10

(67-49, 32-25 home)

    Coverage:  MASN

    4:05 PM ET, August 9, 2014

    Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland 

    123456789 R H E
    STL 110100000 3 9 1
    BAL 03203101 - 10 16 0

    W: U. Jimenez (4-8)

    L: J. Lackey (1-1)

    Cardinals-Orioles Preview


    The Baltimore Orioles hardly missed a beat while Ubaldo Jimenez recovered from a sprained right ankle.

    Now, he just hopes to keep one of baseball's hottest teams rolling in his return.

    Jimenez makes his first start in over a month for the surging Orioles, who look to win a seventh consecutive series Saturday against the visiting St. Louis Cardinals.

    Since Jimenez's last appearance July 5, Baltimore (66-49) has gone a major league-best 19-9 to extend its AL East lead to five games over the Yankees. A victory in one of the next two games would give the Orioles wins in seven consecutive series for the first time since taking eight straight in 1993.

    Batting just .237 since July 1, the Orioles have been carried by a pitching staff that ranks third in the majors during that span with a 2.89 ERA.

    Chris Tillman was the latest starter to impress, tossing shutout ball into the seventh inning Friday before surrendering A.J. Pierzynski's two-run homer.

    Tillman, though, didn't need to be nearly that sharp with the Orioles hitting a season-high six home runs in a 12-2 rout. J.J. Hardy homered twice while Manny Machado, Chris Davis, Ryan Flaherty and Adam Jones also went deep.

    "Anytime you can get a big lead and come out of the game early it's nice," Hardy said. "It's fun just to be able to relax and watch the game."

    That increased the Orioles' major league-leading home run total to 144 and gave them 15 in a seven-game span.

    Baltimore starters have allowed seven runs in the last five home games, but Jimenez (3-8, 4.52 ERA) is 1-6 with a 5.29 ERA in nine starts at Camden Yards even with his most recent outing there being his best. He gave up an unearned run and four hits over eight innings June 30 in a 7-1 win over Texas.

    "He's healthy, he's ready to go, he's physically in good shape and looking forward to getting back in the fight and helping his teammates," manager Buck Showalter told MLB's official website.

    Although he's been a huge disappointment in his first season in Baltimore, Jimenez had allowed one run in five of his last eight starts before he was injured.

    He's 2/3 with a 3.33 ERA in eight starts against the Cardinals, last facing them in 2012 with Cleveland.

    This is a favorable matchup for Jhonny Peralta, who is 9 for 24 (.346) with a homer and four doubles against Jimenez.

    St. Louis' offensive woes continued Friday with its second loss in six games. The Cardinals (61-53), who dropped behind Pittsburgh into third in the NL Central, have scored a major league-worst 62 runs in 19 games since July 13.

    John Lackey received just enough support to win his Cardinals debut Sunday. The right-hander limited Milwaukee to two runs over seven innings in a 3-2 victory. He didn't walk a batter for the second time in three starts and struck out four.

    "It worked out good, got a win," Lackey said after St. Louis rallied for three runs in the seventh. "You obviously want to do well in a new place, for sure."

    Lackey is 3-1 with a 2.33 ERA in his past four starts dating to his time with Boston, pitching seven innings in three straight.

    After a quality start in his first appearance this season against Baltimore, he went 0-2 with a 9.28 ERA in the next two.

    Nelson Cruz is 5 for 7 with a pair of homers in 2014 against Lackey, while Jonathan Schoop is 4 for 6.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Gameday Matchup

     St. LouisBaltimore
    Current StreakW1W1
    Last 106-44-6

    Pitching Matchup

    St. LouisBaltimore
    J. Lackey
    14-10, 3.82 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/24 at CHC
    6.2 IP, 2 ER
    Dec = Loss
    U. Jimenez
    6-9, 4.81 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/28 at TOR
    1.0 IP, 0 ER
    Dec = ND

    Gameday Lineups

    NO.St. LouisBaltimore
    1. M. Carpenter, 3B N. Markakis, RF
    2. K. Wong, 2B M. Machado, 3B
    3. M. Holliday, LF A. Jones, CF
    4. M. Adams, 1B N. Cruz, DH
    5. J. Peralta, DH C. Davis, 1B
    6. O. Taveras, RF J. Hardy, SS
    7. A. Pierzynski, C D. Young, LF
    8. J. Jay, CF C. Joseph, C
    9. D. Descalso, SS J. Schoop, 2B

    Research Notes

    John Lackey has allowed 9 earned runs today...that is his most since May 11, 2011... His 13 hits allowed, was also his 2nd most he has ever allowed in a start in his career... Lackey has also allowed 3 HR the 4 starts in his career previous to today he allowed 9 earned runs or more, he never has allowed 3+ HR in the same game...
    Joseph is the 5th rookie since 1900 to homer in 5 straight games
    Nelson Cruz's 30th home run of the season was calculated at 426 feet, his 14th homer of at least 425 feet in the last two seasons. That trails only Mike Trout among American League batters (21).

    ESPN Stats & Information