ST. LOUIS — September has arrived, the it finds the Cardinals tied for the division lead for the first time in six weeks.
The season’s final month has belonged to the Cardinals in recent years, as they are an major league-best 52-28 since 2011.
The Pirates come in hot, having gone 7-3 in their last 10 games and taking two out of three in Pittsburgh last week. They sit two games behind the Birds and Brewers, intent on making September a three-team race.
Standing in their way is Lance Lynn, the Cardinals best pitcher in the second half. H’s posted a 1.85 ERA in July, and one more win would give him 15 for three seasons running. It’s a distinction he would share with only one other pitcher in all of baseball, Max Scherzer of the Detroit Tigers. His last start was a six inning, two-run effort in the Steel City in which he came without a decision.
Matt Holliday has been the straw the stirs the drink for the Cardinal offense of late, picking up 13 RBIs in the last seven games and most recently powering the Cardinals past the Cubs.
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The Cardinals are sporting a new-look lineup as a couple players get rest. Pete Kozma, up from AAA will start at second in place of a recovering Kolten Wong. The rookie second baseman banged his head Sunday and will sit out in the series opener.
Matt Carpenter will get a day off as Daniel Descalso mans third.
1) Jon Jay CF
2) Oscar Taveras RF
3) Matt Holliday LF
4) Matt Adams 1B
5) Jhonny Peralta SS
6) Yadier Molina C
7) Daniel Descalso 3B
8) Pete Kozma 2B
9) Lance Lynn P