ST. LOUIS, MO - MAY 30: Starter Michael Wacha #52 makes his MLB debut pitching against the Kansas City Royals at Busch Stadium on May 30, 2013 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) By Dilip Vishwanat
PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - FEBRUARY 27: ARY 27: Michael Wacha #74 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches against the New York Mets at Tradition Field on February 27, 2013 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images) By Chris Trotman
(BaseballStL) -- It wasn’t ‘kids’ night at the ballpark,’ but it might as well have been with two of the top young pitching prospects on the mound in St. Louis for the Cardinals and Diamondbacks on Tuesday.
Michael Wacha, 21, got the nod for his second career start while the Diamondbacks gave Tyler Skaggs, 21, the ball to start in his second game this season, and eighth in his career.
Wacha wasn’t as nearly sharp in the second game of the series with Arizona as he was in his first start, a no-decision against the Royals on May 30.
The 21-year-old righty struck out the side in the first inning and was given a one-run lead in the bottom half, but he ran into trouble starting in the second when his counterpart, Skaggs, hit an RBI single to left field after allowing two consecutive base runners to reach with two outs.
After needing only five pitches in the third inning, Wacha served up a three-run home run to the eighth-place hitter A.J. Pollock with first base open and one out. Pollock’s fifth home run gave Arizona a 4-1 lead in the fourth inning.
“Yeah, that was a huge mistake, especially with Skaggs on deck and open base at first,” Wacha said. “That was just dumb on my part.”
Mike Matheny added, “That wasn’t what we were looking for and it wasn’t what he was trying to do. He was trying to do like he did the previous time we were in the same situation and it just didn’t happen.”
Wacha allowed two more runs to score in the fifth inning after Allen Craig pulled the team within a run in the fourth inning with a two-run home run. He threw 89 pitches (58 strikes) to 25 batters faced through 4.2 innings. He allowed six earned runs on 10 hits and one walk and left with the Cardinals trailing 6-3.
He would receive a no-decision after the Cardinals came back to tie the game in the seventh inning.
The second start from Wacha brought as much buzz as the first, which came last Thursday against the Royals when he allowed only two hits and one run over seven innings. He received a no-decision after the bullpen blew the lead in the ninth inning.
Skaggs also entered his second start this season, with the absence of injured pitcher Brandon McCarthy, and his own hype after holding the Rangers to three hits and no runs in six innings in the first game of a doubleheader on May 27.
He didn’t fair so well either on Tuesday. Skaggs was given a no-decision after he hurled 5.2 innings and allowed five runs on six hits, including two home runs.
The Diamondbacks would beat the Cardinals 7-6 in the 14th inning.