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Jul 6, 2024 2:37 am

Cardinals’ Lance Lynn seeks third straight win, faces Nationals

Lance Lynn

St. Louis right-hander Lance Lynn looks to win his third straight start when the Cardinals play the second of their four-game series at the Washington Nationals on Saturday.

The Cardinals rallied from a five-run deficit to beat the Nationals 7-6 on Friday night, with the go-ahead run scoring on a passed ball in the 11th inning.

Lynn (4-3, 3.59 ERA) was roughed up by the Miami Marlins on June 18 and saw his ERA climb to 4.08. His past two efforts have been stellar. Over 12 2/3 innings, he has allowed one run on six hits while striking out 11 and walking one. On Sunday against the Cincinnati Reds, he gave up two hits over six scoreless innings.

Relying on his fastball, the 37-year-old Lynn threw a first-pitch strike to the first 16 hitters he faced.

“I’ve made a long career out of doing it this way,” Lynn said. “(First-pitch) strikes help with not walking guys and it all kind of goes hand in hand. Successful outings usually mean you get ahead, you stay ahead, and you make quality pitches.”

Lynn is 3-2 with a 3.90 ERA in seven games (five starts) versus Washington.

The Nationals counter with 25-year-old left-hander MacKenzie Gore (6-7, 3.47). After struggling against the San Diego Padres on June 25 (five earned runs in five innings), Gore bounced back versus the New York Mets on Monday, giving up one run on five hits over 5 2/3 innings. He struck out eight and walked one while throwing 104 pitches and left with the lead in a game Washington lost.

“I felt good, but it was the right thing to do,” Gore said of manager Dave Martinez’s decision to pull him. “That’s a lot (of pitches). And 5 2/3 … as much as I wanted to stay in, it was the right thing to do.”

Gore lost his only previous start against St. Louis, allowing five runs in six innings in June 2023.

On Friday, automatic runner Masyn Winn went to third on a groundout to open the 11th inning and scored on a swinging strike three passed ball by catcher Riley Adams with Willson Contreras at the plate.

Contreras capped the Cardinals’ comeback from an early 5-0 deficit when he homered in the ninth inning against closer Kyle Finnegan to tie the score at 5. Both teams added a run in the 10th.

“It was a little tough the first couple innings,” Contreras said. “But we did what we needed to do to win this game.”

Nolan Arenado had four hits for the Cardinals, who have won four of five. It was his first four-hit game of the season.

Finnegan was pitching for the fourth time in five days for Washington, which had won two straight, but has now lost eight of 11, including four in extra innings.

“We’ve been playing a lot of these tough games here lately,” Finnegan said. “It’s a testament to our character that we keep showing up and giving everything we have. Hopefully the balls start bouncing our way, and the tides will change here soon.”

Washington’s Luis Garcia Jr. went 4-for-5 with a home run, two RBIs and a run scored. He is hitting .375 (12-for-32) with two doubles, three homers, nine RBIs and seven runs scored over his past nine games (seven starts).

–Field Level Media

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