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Preview: Pirates (53-47) at Cardinals (53-47)
BT Movements  ·  Line Movements
Game: 1
Venue: Busch Stadium
Date: April 26, 2013 8:15 PM EDT
  

Following impressive wins in their respective road series, the St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates appear to be playing with some confidence as they open a three-game set.

Right-hander Lance Lynn will try to build on an outstanding performance and pitch the Cardinals to a fourth straight win Friday night when they host the Pirates, who are also trying to extend their win streak to four.

St. Louis (13-8) completed a three-game sweep in Washington with a 4-2 victory Wednesday and concluded a nine-game trip with six wins.

Matt Holliday and Matt Carpenter each had three hits and left-hander Jaime Garcia gave the Cardinals another solid pitching effort to beat the Nationals - one of the favorites to win the NL.

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Now they'll turn to Lynn (3-0, 3.68 ERA), who gave up only a leadoff double in the fifth and struck out eight over seven innings in a 5-0 win at Philadelphia last Saturday.

"I'm a better pitcher when I'm pitching with a little bit of a chip on my shoulder," said Lynn, who had allowed four runs and seven hits in five innings of a 10-6 win at Pittsburgh in his previous start.

After a 1-5 start, the Pirates (13-9) seem to be playing with a similar attitude and captured their 12th win in 16 games by rallying for a 6-4 victory at Philadelphia on Thursday.

"You don't try to explain it,' manager Clint Hurdle said. "We just play the game, one at a time. I really like our focus and intensity."

Gaby Sanchez led the way with a homer and three RBIs, while Garrett Jones hit a go-ahead, two-run double in the eighth inning as the Pirates took three of four for their first series win in Philadelphia since 2003.

Pittsburgh's pitching staff has played a major role, allowing 13 runs while posting a 1.89 ERA over its last seven games.

Left-hander Jonathan Sanchez (0-2, 11.12), however, hasn't made it past the fourth inning in each of his last two starts.

After allowing nine runs in 3 1-3 innings in a loss at Arizona, Sanchez threw 74 pitches while giving up two runs and four hits over three innings in a 4-2 win over Atlanta on Sunday.

He's 0-11 with an 8.87 ERA over his last 17 starts dating to last season.

While the Cardinals aren't exactly pounding the ball with .215 batting average over their last eight games, they have been successful manufacturing runs and relying on their pitching and defense to win games.

"When we're not banging balls into the stands every single night, we've got to do other things, whether people like it or not," manager Mike Matheny said.

St. Louis pitchers rank near the top of the league in ERA (3.14) and home runs allowed (12). With just 10 errors and a .988 fielding percentage, the Cardinals are also one of the NL's top defensive clubs.

Allen Craig may be able to spark the offense since he's 7 for 21 with six RBIs in his last five games, and is batting .359 with four homers and 18 RBIs in his last 22 in the series.

Pittsburgh's Pedro Alvarez, who went 2 for 5 on Thursday, is 9 for 24 (.375) with four homers and six RBIs in his last seven games.

Starling Marte is batting .436 during a nine-game road hitting streak.

The Pirates, who split two home games against the Cardinals earlier this month, have won five of seven at Busch Stadium.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

 SERIES AT A GLANCE
GAME 1
Pirates at Cardinals
Fri, Apr 26 Final 1 to 9
 Boxscores    Recaps
GAME 2
Pirates at Cardinals
Sat, Apr 27 Final 5 to 3
 Boxscores    Recaps
GAME 3
Pirates at Cardinals
Sun, Apr 28 Final 9 to 0
 Boxscores    Recaps

 CURRENT LAS VEGAS LINE
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 PIT  +185   -120   8 
 STL  -200   +100   
LAS VEGAS LINE MOVEMENTS

 CURRENT SPORTSBOOK LINE
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 PIT  +170   -115   8 
 STL  -200   -105   
OFFSHORE LINE MOVEMENTS

 BETTING TRENDS
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 PIT  22%   33%   60% 
 STL  78%   67%   40% 
BT MOVEMENTS

 MLB HEAD TO HEAD
 Apr 17, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 STL 0 Under: 5 
 PIT 5 Cover: +102 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Apr 16, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 STL 2 Under: 6 
 PIT 4 Cover: +130 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Apr 15, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 STL 10 Cover: +100 
 PIT 6 Over: 16 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps

 MLB PREVIEWS
 Friday, Apr 26
 
    Braves at Tigers
7:05 PM EDT
    Blue Jays at Yankees
7:05 PM EDT
    Reds at Nationals
7:05 PM EDT
    Astros at Red Sox
7:10 PM EDT
    Cubs at Marlins
7:10 PM EDT
    Phillies at Mets
7:10 PM EDT
    Rays at White Sox
8:10 PM EDT
    Indians at Royals
8:10 PM EDT
    Rangers at Twins
8:10 PM EDT
    Pirates at Cardinals
8:15 PM EDT
    Rockies at Diamondbacks
9:40 PM EDT
    Orioles at Athletics
10:05 PM EDT
    Angels at Mariners
10:10 PM EDT
    Brewers at Dodgers
10:10 PM EDT
    Giants at Padres
10:10 PM EDT
 
 
 
  
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