Kwang Hyun Kim will try to re-establish himself in the St. Louis rotation when the Cardinals visit the Milwaukee Brewers again Saturday.
The left-hander fell out of the mix after landing on the 10-day injured list with elbow soreness in mid-August. He returned to the rotation Sunday after Jack Flaherty went on the IL with a strained shoulder.
In his first start back, Kim threw 64 pitches while allowing one run in four innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
“I know I have to be better next time as an inning-eater,” he said afterward.
The Cardinals (69-64) beat the Brewers 15-4 Friday in the opener of the three-game series. St. Louis has won five of their past seven games to remain in the pack of teams bidding for the National League’s second wild-card berth.
“Just trying to win as many ballgames as we can,” Cardinals third baseman Nolan Arenado said after hitting two homers and driving in three runs Friday. “We’ll see where we are at the end. I think the focus is great. We’re just trying to compete every day, find a way to win.
“We’re facing some good teams down this last month. It’s going to be a grind, but we’re ready for it.”
Kim (6-6, 3.23 ERA) faced the Brewers once this season, back on May 11 in a 6-1 Cardinals victory. He allowed the one run on five hits on 5 1/3 innings and wasn’t involved in the decision.
He is 1-0 with a 1.04 ERA in three career starts against the Brewers. Kim has had success against Luis Urias (0-for-7) and Omar Narvaez (0-for-3).
The Brewers (82-54) will start right-hander Adrian Houser (7-6, 3.69 ERA), who is coming off a rough start in a 6-4 loss to the Minnesota Twins on Aug. 28. He allowed five runs on five hits and three walks in five-plus innings during his second outing since returning from three weeks on the COVID-19 list.
“With all these guys, it takes a little bit of time to get back in the flow of things,” Brewers pitching coach Chris Hook said, according to MLB.com. “Like, Houser was frustrated the other day. I told him, ‘This is not plug and play. You guys were in a good routine. It’s very detailed every day, and you go away for two weeks and you expect it to just work?’ It doesn’t work that way.”
Houser earned a 9-5 victory over the Cardinals on April 10. He allowed one run, which was unearned, on six hits in five-plus innings.
He is 2-2 with a 3.76 ERA in eight career appearances against the Cardinals, including five starts. Paul Goldschmidt (5-for-13, two homers, six RBIs) and Yadier Molina (4-for-12, homer, two RBIs) have hit well against him.
The Brewers placed second baseman Kolten Wong on paternity leave before the start of the series. Third baseman Eduardo Escobar came off the IL and went 1-for-3 with a walk. Outfielder Avisail Garcia sat out the Friday game because of back and hamstring tightness.
Milwaukee reliever Justin Topa is headed to the IL after exiting the game with an elbow injury, and reliever Daniel Norris bowed out with a finger cut. Norris is not expected to miss much time.
“The last time it happened it was not an issue,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “He’ll need some rest after the number of pitches (38).”
The Cardinals placed reliever Junior Fernandez on the injured list with a torn lat and recalled pitcher Jake Woodford from Triple-A Memphis.
–Field Level Media