Philadelphia Phillies right-hander Nick Pivetta is struggling so far in June. He will try to turn his month around against the slumping St. Louis Cardinals.
The Phillies and Cardinals open a three-game set on Monday night at Citizens Bank Park.
The teams are meeting for the second time in a month after splitting a four-game set in May at Busch Stadium.
Pivetta (4-6 [url=http://www.sanfrancisco49ersteamonline.com/kentavius-street-jersey]Authentic Kentavius Street Jersey[/url] , 4.25 ERA) has an 8.36 ERA and opponents are hitting .352 with a .940 OPS against him through three June starts. The 25-year-old had a 3.26 ERA and .230 batting average against during his first 11 starts of the season.
Pivetta’s hardships were evident in his last start.
Facing the Colorado Rockies, he allowed six runs, eight hits and three walks in five innings of a 7-2 loss on Wednesday. It was the fourth straight start in which Pivetta took a loss.
“I think that his composure hasn’t been perfect, but he’s a young, developing pitcher,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler told MLB.com after Pivetta’s start. “He’s going to have his bumps. He’s going to have hiccups along the way. I think this is just an indication of that.”
Pivetta did not pitch against the Cardinals when the Phillies faced them last month, but he saw St. Louis twice last year. Pivetta allowed seven earned runs and struck out 12 in 11 innings during those starts.
Pivetta will be facing a Cardinals team that posted a 5-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Sunday night but still has lost five times in its last seven games. The Cardinals (37-32) enter the series four games behind the first-place Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Central.
Right-hander Miles Mikolas (7-2, 2.43) will be on the mound in the series opener. Mikolas, who spent the last three seasons pitching in Japan, leads the Cardinals with an 0.96 WHIP and his 2.43 ERA is the best in their rotation.
The Cardinals are 9-4 in Mikolas’ starts, but they lost in his last outing. He gave up three runs and six hits in six innings against the San Diego Padres in a 4-2 loss on Tuesday.
“He was throwing the ball well, and he came back and threw the ball well (after a three-run inning) [url=http://www.buffalobillsteamonline.com/harrison-phillips-jersey]Authentic Harrison Phillips Jersey[/url] ,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny told reporters after Mikolas’ last start. “He’s on a nice roll.”
The Phillies are looking for their third series victory in a row. They are returning home for three games against the Cardinals after taking two of three against the Milwaukee Brewers over the weekend
Philadelphia was a 10-9 winner over Milwaukee on Sunday as Maikel Franco went 2-for-3 with a home run and four RBIs. The third baseman was making just his second start since June 6 and homered for the first time since May 26.
“Mikey has shown an incredible attitude recently,” Kapler said when he met with reporters after the victory. “He’s come to the ballpark and prepared, even when he has not been in the lineup.”
Rhys Hoskins also homered and is batting .333 (10-for-30) with four homers and 11 RBIs since returning from a broken jaw.Freddy Peralta is making it difficult for the Milwaukee Brewers to remove him from the rotation. Maybe they won’t.
Peralta pitched one-hit ball over seven scoreless innings, Jesus Aguilar hit one of Milwaukee’s three homers and the Brewers beat the Kansas City Royals 5-1 on Tuesday night.
Peralta (3-0) allowed a leadoff double in the third to Adalberto Mondesi and also a walk in the second. The 22-year-old rookie was perfect otherwise, striking out 10 in his fourth major league start.
”He was wonderful,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. ”The big thing to me, again, was just how he pounded the strike zone. That’s the common theme to me, is that if he’s not issuing free passes, he’s going to be tough. He did that tonight, just all over the strike zone.”
Aguilar, Christian Yelich and Ryan Braun homered off starter Jakob Junis (5-9) [url=http://www.buffalobillsteamonline.com/taron-johnson-jersey]Authentic Taron Johnson Jersey[/url] , who has lost six straight.
Mondesi, called up June 17, hit his first homer this season with two outs in the eighth off Dan Jennings. Jacob Barnes got two outs in the ninth and Josh Hader retired one batter for his seventh save.
Peralta has not allowed a run in 13 innings, giving up three hits in two starts since being recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs on June 19 when starter Zach Davies went on the disabled list.
”That hasn’t been a conversation,” Counsell said when asked about the rotation. ”He’s pitching well. If you keep pitching like that, it’s going to lead to more starts, for sure.”
Peralta was called up in May and allowed one hit in 5 2/3 scoreless innings in his debut, striking out 13 in a 7-3 win over Colorado. He gave up four runs in four innings without a decision in his second start, and then was sent down.
After three starts on the road, Peralta was pitching for the first time at Miller Park.
”I was waiting for this day to pitch in the Brewers stadium,” Peralta said. ”A lot of fans were waiting for this day, too. I’m really happy for this. I did the best job I could and it was awesome for me.”
Junis [url=http://www.buffalobillsteamonline.com/jeremy-kerley-jersey]Authentic Jeremy Kerley Jersey[/url] , who has not won since May 18, surrendered five runs, seven hits and three walks in five innings.
”I’m giving up a lot of runs on home runs,” said Junis, who has allowed three or more homers five times this season. ”If I keep it in the yard, I’d have a lot better chance of keeping some runs off the board. But, just a couple pitches that I’m leaving over the plate are getting handled.”
Yelich staked the Brewers to a 2-0 lead in the first with his 11th home run, sending a 3-0 pitch over the wall in left after a one-out double by Braun. Aguilar made it 3-0 with his team-leading 17th homer, a two-out solo shot to center in the third.
The Brewers extended the lead to 5-0 in the fifth when Eric Thames singled and Braun followed with his ninth home run and first since June 8.
Kansas City threatened in the second when Mondesi opened with a double to right. Junis bunted, but Aguilar charged from first, made a barehanded pickup and got Mondesi at third.
The Royals fell to 4-19 in the month of June, scoring just 48 runs in that span. They have scored one run or less in 18 games this season.
”We’re all frustrated [url=http://www.buffalobillsteamonline.com/trent-murphy-jersey]Authentic Trent Murphy Jersey[/url] ,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. ”I’ve never seen anything like it. I’ve never been a part of a month like this. An offensive drought like we’ve had all month long is pretty puzzling. There’s no answer for it I’ve never been through anything like this.”
Brewers: CF Lorenzo Cain was placed on the 10-day DL (left groin strain) and OF Keon Broxton was recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs. … LHP Boone Logan was released. … 3B Travis Shaw, who left Sunday’s game against St. Louis in the middle of his first at-bat, was not in the lineup and is day-to-day.
Royals: LHP Danny Duffy (3-7, 5.18) starts the series finale Wednesday at Miller Park. After beginning the season 1-6 with a 6.88 ERA, he is 2-1 with a 2.87 ERA in his last six starts.
Brewers: LHP Brent Suter (8-4, 4.15) is 6-1 with a 3.12 ERA over his last seven starts. After no quality starts in his first 14, Suter has pitched seven innings in each of his last two, allowing one and two runs, respectively.