The St. Louis Cardinals have seen their bad season only worsen lately
They will try to create some positive feelings when they visit the Chicago White Sox in the second game of their three-game series on Saturday afternoon
The Cardinals blew an early five-run lead in the series opener on Friday night and let another one-run lead late in the game slip away before losing 8-7 for their fourth loss in five games
It marked the 28th time this season that the Cardinals have blown leads this season, often late in games
“We’ve had the lead more than twice in certain games and blown it,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said after the latest loss. “With our pitching staff, we can’t give away outs, and we did a decent amount of that (Friday).
Marmol’s pitching staff became even thinner on Friday after starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery left with a hamstring injury in the fifth inning.
St. Louis is already without starters Adam Wainwright (shoulder) and Jake Woodford (shoulder).
Montgomery came into the game second on the team in innings pitched (103) and tied for the lead in wins (six).
“It hurts,” Marmol said. “This is a guy that’s been giving us a chance every time out.”
Montgomery’s early departure and the ineffectiveness of Kyle Leahy in his major league debut also forced Marmol to use one of his best relievers, Chris Stratton, for a third straight day, leaving him unavailable for Saturday’s game.
Despite falling behind early, the White Sox kept their energy positive on Friday
“It’s easy to just quit. These guys never do that,” Chicago manager Pedro Grifol said. “It was just a good, gutsy performance by everybody.”
Grifol said the White Sox have a knack for stringing base hits together and then delivering a big blow when they need it, like they did several times on Friday
“I think this is going to really help us down the road,” Grifol said of the comeback win. “These guys are playing meaningful games every single night. and they’re tough games against good opponents, so there’s good energy in the dugout.”
The White Sox plan to go with a bullpen game and will likely send Touki Toussaint to the mound as a starter for the second time in six days
Toussaint (0-1, 3.95) allowed two runs and three hits in 3 2/3 innings of an 8-7 win against the Oakland A’s on July 2. He has faced the Cardinals four times previously, twice as a starter, and is 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in 15 innings
The Cardinals will try to get on the right side of the win column when they send right-hander Miles Mikolas to the mound
Mikolas (4-5, 4.51 ERA) hasn’t had any success lately either. He is winless since May after going 0-4 with a 6.07 ERA in June.
Mikolas took a no-decision to start July after he gave up four runs on four hits in 6 1/3 innings against the Miami Marlins on Monday. He struck out two, walked two and had a 4-2 lead when he came out for the seventh. He walked two batters with one out in the inning, and the bullpen surrendered a two-run double and an RBI single in the inning en route to a 5-4 loss.
Mikolas made his only career start against the White Sox on July 10, 2018. He gave up two runs and three hits and a walk in six innings, earning the win in the 14-2 victory. He would earn the first of two All-Star nominations that season
–Field Level Media