After shortest start of career, Lynn seeks first win ever over Giants
Lance Lynn is trying to rebound from the shortest start of his career, and he's still seeking his first victory over the San Francisco Giants.
Lynn faces the Giants for the first time since last year's National League Championship Series as the major league-leading St. Louis Cardinals go for a 10th win in 13 tries Tuesday night.
Lynn (9-7, 2.95 ERA) was pulled with two outs in the first inning and was tagged for seven runs (three earned) and six hits while hitting a batter in Thursday's 10-5 loss to Pittsburgh.
"It's not something we normally see from Lance," manager Mike Matheny said. "Those happen from time to time. You've just got to let them go."
Lynn is 0-4 with a 6.18 ERA in six career starts against San Francisco, losing all three in the regular season with a 7.98 ERA.
The right-hander, though, was effective in a 5-4 home win over the Giants in Game 2 of the 2014 NLCS. He allowed two runs in 5 2/3 innings of St. Louis' only victory in the series.
In the first matchup since, the Cardinals (76-42) beat San Francisco 2-1 on Monday after rookie Stephen Piscotty tripled and scored on Mark Reynolds' groundout in the eighth.
Piscotty has six hits over the last three games, including two doubles and a homer. He's batting .341 in 25 games since being called up from Triple A Memphis, including a .407 average in 17 home contests.
"It feels good to contribute," Piscotty said. "It's just so much fun."
Piscotty played the majority of his first month in the majors in left field but started in right on Monday after fellow rookie Randal Grichuk went on the disabled list with an elbow injury. Jason Heyward shifted from right to Grichuk's regular spot in center but lasted only two innings there in the opener before leaving with tightness in his left hamstring.
"We made the proactive move of just getting him out," Matheny said of Heyward, who will have another round of tests Tuesday. "We're not going to go any further."
The Giants (64-54), three games back of the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers, are dealing with a key injury of their own. They opted not to activate Mike Leake (hamstring) from the disabled list to make his scheduled start.
Instead, Ryan Vogelsong (8-8, 4.15) gets the nod in his place for a third time. The right-hander served up a homer on his first pitch Thursday, but that was the only run he allowed while equaling his career high with eight strikeouts in five innings of a 3-1 win over Washington.
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"I guess I had deception on my fastball and a little extra zip," Vogelsong told MLB's official website.
Vogelsong is 3-2 with a 3.40 ERA in eight starts -- three in the postseason -- against the Cardinals with San Francisco, but he allowed four runs in just three innings in Game 4 of the NLCS before the Giants rallied for a 6-4 win.
He has struggled with Matt Carpenter, who is 6 for 13 with a triple, a double and four walks off him. The third baseman's .509 average in 18 career regular-season matchups with the Giants is his highest against any opponent.
Carpenter is hitting .368 with eight homers and 15 RBIs in the last 18 games overall.
San Francisco's Brandon Crawford is aiming for a career-high 12-game hitting streak, but he's 3 for 12 with six strikeouts against Lynn.
Buster Posey is 4 for 6 with a homer against Lynn in the regular season. He flied out to the wall as a pinch hitter to end the opener, but he's batting .436 in 11 non-playoff games at Busch Stadium.