Cardinals turn to Adam Wainwright against Indians

MLB

The injury-depleted St. Louis Cardinals will try to snap their six-game losing streak when they host the Cleveland Indians Wednesday night.

The Indians routed the Cardinals 10-1 Tuesday night in the first half of a two-game set at Busch Stadium.

That was the Cardinals’ eighth loss in their past nine games.

“We know there’s been injuries and different things that have happened,” Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt said. “Every team is dealing with that. So I think the focus is right. You keep doing what we believe is the right thing to prepare to win each day.

“It hasn’t been good enough this past week, two weeks. But keep getting after it and hope that tomorrow will be different.”

The Cardinals will turn to Adam Wainwright (3-5, 4.19 ERA) to try to stop the losing streak. Wainwright worked seven innings and allowed three runs on eight hits in his most recent start, a 4-2 loss to the Cincinnati Reds last Thursday.

He has met the quality start metric in five of his past eight starts. The Cardinals could use another one because their starters averaged fewer than five innings per outing over the past 17 games.

Injuries to Miles Mikolas (strained flexor tendon), Jack Flaherty (oblique strain) and Kwang Hyun Kim (sore back) have forced them to abandon their six-man rotation and use a makeshift alignment.

Wainwright has faced the Indians just twice in his long career — once in relief and once as a starter – and allowed three runs in 11 innings and is 1-0. Cesar Hernandez is 2-for-10 against him, but with a double, a homer and two RBIs.

Like the Cardinals, the Indians are searching for more starting pitching depth with Zach Plesac (thumb) injured and Logan Allen and Triston McKenzie getting more seasoning in the minors. McKenzie could return to start Saturday.

In the meantime, rookie Jean Carlos Mejia (1-0, 0.00 ERA) will start Wednesday for the Indians. Mejia has thrown eight scoreless innings in four appearances this season while allowing just three hits.

In his most recent outing, he moved from the bullpen to the rotation and lasted three innings as the Indians suffered a 3-1 loss to the Baltimore Orioles.

“I felt great,” Mejia said through a translator. “Everything was working.”

Mejia threw 50 pitches in that start. Cleveland.com noted that Mejia threw 27 sinkers, 10 sliders, six changeups, five four-seam fastballs and two curveballs with velocities ranging from 80.7 mph to 94.5 mph.

He continues to build endurance to start, so Indians manager Terry Francona expects him to work deeper in this game.

“It depends on how you get there, but probably 65ish,” Francona said Tuesday. “Fifteen (more pitches) is usually an acceptable number when you’re starting to build. You could always push a guy, but I’m not sure that helps you build him up.”

On the injury front, Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina (knee bruise) could return after sitting out the last two games.

“He’s still sore,” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said Tuesday. “He’s getting a lot closer. Optimistic about tomorrow . . . Making steady improvement. Just needs another day.”

Also, Cardinals shortstop Paul DeJong (fractured rib) remained on his rehab assignment with Triple-A Memphis. He is not expected to return until the weekend series against the Chicago Cubs.

–Field Level Media

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