(BaseballStL) — Despite pitching six strong innings, Tyler Lyons was denied another win in his third start.
All three outings as a starter have gone six innings, and Tuesday’s was his strongest to date. Allowing only three hits, Lyons held the Braves to a single run.
Retiring the first 10 Atlanta hitters in order, the 26-year-old cruised through three innings in 30 pitches and retired the first man in the fourth on just two.
Justin Upton broke the stranglehold, hitting his ninth homer of the season to give the Braves a tenuous 1-0 advantage. Lyons went right back to business, however, retiring the next two hitters on 10 pitches to limit the damage.
In the fifth he surrendered a leadoff single, but struck out B.J. Upton and Dan Uggla on four pitches each to reestablish control. When the defense faltered behind him in the form of a Matt Carpenter error, Lyons didn’t come undone. Instead, he struck out stud shortstop Andrelton Simmons to strand the runner.
He reprised his performance under fire the next inning when, after two outs, Atlanta managed runners at first and third following a walk and a single. The Cardinals had tied the game on a walk and a single, part of only six hits they would manage on the night and only the second run the Birds scored in support of Lyons all year.
The young starter would be unwavering, striking out Gerald Laird to end the threat and preserve a tie game.
Despite the no decision, Lyons posted another impressive start. He was ahead of 15 out of 23 batters with a strike, and threw only 87 pitches to give the Cardinals a chance to win through six innings.
Unfortunately the offense sputtered once again, leaving five on base and going 1-for-4 with runners in scoring position.