Tuesday, August 05, 2014
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Preview: Red Sox at Cardinals

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[August 05, 2014]  SportsDirectInc 2014. All Rights Reserved
 Source News Feed: US Online Report MLB
 The St. Louis Cardinals welcome back a few familiar faces as they continue their quest for a division title with the opener of a three-game interleague series against the visiting Boston Red Sox on Tuesday. Allen Craig and Joe Kelly return to St. Louis for the first time since being sent to Boston at Thursday's trade deadline for John Lackey, who worked seven strong innings to notch the win in his Cardinals debut on Sunday against Milwaukee. The victory pulled St. Louis within one game of the Brewers for first place in the National League Central and moved it one-half game ahead of Pittsburgh for the second wild-card spot.

Craig went 1-for-4 in his first game with Boston on Friday but injured his ankle and missed the team's final two contests versus the New York Yankees, while Kelly is slated to start against his former club on Wednesday. The Red Sox have faded from postseason contention, losing 10 of 12 after putting together a five-game winning streak that bridged the All-Star break to sink deeper into the basement in the American League East and see their deficit for a wild-card berth reach double digits. St. Louis is just 7-7 in the second half but enter the series having won two of three from Milwaukee.

TV: 8:15 p.m. ET, NESN (Boston), FSN Midwest (St. Louis)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox RH Rubby De La Rosa (3-4, 3.64 ERA) vs. Cardinals RH Lance Lynn (11-8, 2.98)

De La Rosa looks to halt a two-game skid as he makes his 10th start of the season. Both of the losses came against Toronto, which held the Red Sox to a total of two runs in the defeats while reaching the 25-year-old Dominican for 10 - nine earned - and 18 hits over 10 innings. De La Rosa, who never has faced the Cardinals, is 0-3 with a 6.04 ERA in four road outings.

Lynn also enters with a two-game losing streak but pitched well enough to win both contests, yielding two runs - one earned - while working at least six innings in each of them. The 27-year-old won his previous three starts and has allowed fewer than three runs in each of his last five outings. Lynn, who will be pitching against Boston for the first time in the regular season, is 7-3 with a 2.72 ERA in 12 home turns.

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1. Boston will miss Lackey in the series but will see C A.J. Pierzynski, who is 6-for-22 (.273) with two RBIs in six games for St. Louis since signing with the team after being released by the Red Sox in mid-July.

2. Cardinals CF Jon Jay is expected back in the lineup after missing five games with a sore wrist.

3. St. Louis SS Jhonny Peralta is one home run shy of matching the franchise record for a shortstop (16) shared by Daryl Spencer (1960) and Edgar Renteria (2000).

PREDICTION: Cardinals 4, Red Sox 1

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