Right-hander Lance Lynn (10-3) will take the hill for the home team Saturday, looking for his third win against the Pirates in as many starts this season. In his prior two run-ins with Pittsburgh, Lynn has pitched a combined 13 2/3 innings and put together a 1.98 ERA. The righty has struck out 10 Bucs batters this year. In his last two starts, however, Lynn hasn't pitched more than 5 1/3 innings, earning a loss against Detroit in one outing and a no-decision against Kansas City in the other. His combined ERA in those appearances is 9.58, which has led some to believe that fatigue is setting in for the Cardinals' first-year starter. "I've got to pitch better than I have the last two starts. They were the worst two starts of my career," Lynn said. "They're just hitting my mistakes, whereas before I was getting away with them. I have to stop making so many mistakes." Center fielder Carlos Beltran recorded his 2,000 hit Friday. His third-inning single through the left side of the infield scored Rafael Furcal to give him an RBI in a team-record seven straight games. Pirates: Second start for Karstens since return
Starter Jeff Karstens (0-2) will make his second start Saturday since missing more than two months with shoulder and hip injuries. His first outing didn't go as well as he would have liked, as the right-hander allowed seven runs (six earned) in a losing effort against the Phillies on Monday. Karstens pitched five innings in the loss, striking out four and walking none. "I was really surprised that I was able to keep the adrenaline to a minimum," Karstens said, "because usually the first time being back after a while can be pretty intense if you want to come back and do well." Speaking about his opponents Saturday afternoon, Karstens said, "From top to bottom, they're pretty solid all the way around. That's why they're doing some good things with the bat this year. And it's just our job to go out there, minimize the damage and give our teams a good chance to win." After slugging four homers Friday, Pittsburgh now has 50 on the road, more than any other team in the National League. St. Louis ranks second with 49. Worth noting
In the month of June, the Cardinals are 13-13 and the Pirates are 16-10. This series marks the third so far between St. Louis and Pittsburgh. The Cardinals took two games out of three in each of the first two, and own a 4-3 record against the Pirates.