Boston Red Sox (49-64) at St. Louis Cardinals (61-51), 7:15 p.m. (ET)
08/06/2014 10:49 AM
08/07/2014 10:49 AM
(SportsNetwork.com) - Adam Wainwright will try to work past some uncharacteristic struggles on Thursday night as he goes for his 14th win of the season in the St. Louis Cardinals' finale of a three-game set with the Boston Red Sox.
It has been a fairly consistent and dominating season for Wainwright, who is tied for the major league lead with 13 victories while posting the National League's third-best earned run average at 2.26.
However, the right-hander has struggled in two of his past three outings after going at least seven innings and allowing two runs or fewer in seven straight starts from June 4-July 12.
Wainwright came out of the All-Star break with a 7-2 loss to Tampa Bay on July 22, charged with six runs -- four earned -- over 4 2/3 innings. The righty then bounced back five days later to beat the Chicago Cubs with seven scoreless frames, but was rocked for seven runs in 5 1/3 innings of a setback to Milwaukee on Friday.
The 32-year-old is now set to face the Red Sox for the first time in the regular season, though he lost to them twice in last year's World Series while pitching to a 4.50 ERA.
Brandon Workman will start for the Red Sox and he figures to be a fixture in the rotation since the trades of Jon Lester and John Lackey prior to last week's deadline.
Workman made his most recent start on July 30 after he was recalled from the minors to pitch in place of Lester amid the trade rumors. The right-hander went on to lose his fourth straight start, falling 6-1 to the Toronto Blue Jays.
Workman allowed five runs -- two earned -- on four hits and four walks over five frames and manager John Farrell said it was Workman's walks, above anything else, that contributed to the loss.
"They were able to bunch seeing-eye hits (together) ... but when you look back at the runs allowed, it centers around the walks," he said.
Set to turn 26 on Wednesday, Workman is 1-4 with a 4.08 ERA in 12 games (9 starts) this year and faces the Cardinals for the first time.
Boston evened this series with a 2-1 victory on Wednesday night. Xander Bogaerts knocked in both runs, including one on a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the ninth inning.
The Red Sox then sent out Koji Uehara to close things out in the bottom half and he put men on first and second with two outs before getting Jon Jay to ground into a fielder's choice.
Former St. Louis pitcher Joe Kelly gave up one run on three hits with four walks over seven innings in his Boston debut. Kelly was traded to the Red Sox last week in the deal that sent Lackey to the Gateway City.
"Definitely good to get that win in there," Kelly said. "I had a good time, I enjoyed it, I had fun. Especially pitching against the Cardinals."
Boston snapped a three-game skid with only its second victory in eight games, while St. Louis saw its three-game winning streak halted despite starter Shelby Miller allowing only one run in seven innings.
"I thought (Miller) was very, very good today," praised Cardinals manager Mike Matheny.
The Cards sit a game back of the Milwaukee Brewers for first place in the NL Central.
St. Louis won two of three games in Boston back in 2008 and did the same at home in this series in 2005, while the Red Sox beat the Cardinals in six games to win the 2013 Fall Classic.
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