Adam Wainwright will try to get the St. Louis Cardinals back on track Wednesday when they play the third contest of a four-game series against the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Dodgers (88-51) have won six of their past eight games overall, including a 5-1 victory over St. Louis on Monday and a 7-2 decision on Tuesday.
The reeling Cardinals (69-68) have lost four straight games. Once again they will turn to Wainwright (14-7, 2.91 ERA) in hopes of pulling them out of their tailspin.
“We realize the way it’s going, these first couple, but we have the right guy on the mound,” said Cardinals pitcher J.A. Happ, who took the loss on Tuesday. “I think we’re going to come out with some energy and look forward to getting back in that win column.”
Wainwright has allowed two runs or fewer in eight of his last nine outings — and just one earned run in his past three (21 1/3 innings).
“Definitely have good rhythm going out there,” Wainwright said. “Definitely feel like I’m in synch with everything. That’s exactly what I want to feel when I go out there. Everything should work together. Downhill. Right toward my target. I’m trying to feel like it’s fluid, like I’m making music out there.”
This will be Wainwright’s first start against the Dodgers this season. He is 6-5 with a 2.51 ERA in 16 career outings against them, including 13 starts.
Justin Turner (3-for-8, two doubles, RBI) and Trea Turner (4-for-10, two doubles, RBI) have fared well in a small sample size versus Wainwright.
The Dodgers had Mitch White prepared to pitch multiple innings Tuesday behind opener Corey Knebel in another bullpen start for this injury-depleted rotation.
But White (1-2, 3.49 ERA) wasn’t needed, so manager Dave Roberts said he will start Wednesday. White has made 18 appearances for the Dodgers this season, including three starts.
White has made one career appearance against the Cardinals, and he struck out three of the four batters he faced.
After coming off the bench Tuesday, Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts likely will return to the starting lineup Wednesday. Betts had three hits and three walks in his previous three starts.
“He is right where he needs to be,” Roberts said. “Getting him an off-day here, getting him ready for that stretch … he’s on the come for me.”
Max Muncy also figures to return to the starting lineup after coming off the bench Tuesday. Former Cardinals star Albert Pujols started at first base in his place, took a bow before the fans in St. Louis and belted a first-inning homer.
“I think it’s something that probably next week I’m gonna think about it more,” Pujols said. “That’s how it happened in 2019 (as a member of the Los Angeles Angels). I was able to kind of embrace it and enjoy it more than when it happened.”
Before Tuesday’s game, the Dodgers activated Steven Souza Jr. to fill in with fellow outfielder AJ Pollock on the 10-day injured list. He started Tuesday and could get additional starts against left-handed starters.
The Dodgers optioned Zach McKinstry back to Triple-A Oklahoma City to make room for Souza.
–Field Level Media