Wed Aug 14 4:39am ET
After an impressive pitching display in the series opener on Tuesday, the visiting St. Louis Cardinals will look for a two-game sweep of the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday.
The Cardinals are now 37-20 all-time at Kauffman Stadium in interleague play following a 2-0 victory Tuesday, while the two clubs have nearly split 46 games in St. Louis (24-22, favoring the Cardinals).
Jack Flaherty shut down the Royals' offense Tuesday night, scattering three hits over seven shutout innings. He has a 0.79 ERA over his past seven starts.
Andrew Miller (1 1/3 innings) and Carlos Martinez (13th save) completed the shutout. It was frustrating for the Royals, who tallied 22 home runs on their recent 10-game road trip but managed only four hits in their return home.
Dakota Hudson (10-6, 4.01 ERA) will get the starting assignment for the Cardinals on Wednesday. He has faced the Royals only once, a relief appearance last season. He faced four batters in that outing, walking two and allowing a hit and a run.
He has pitched well for the Cardinals in the rotation in this season. All but one of his 24 appearances have been as a starter.
Hudson has lost two straight decisions after reeling off four straight wins, but he has allowed more than three earned runs only once in his past 20 starts.
The 24-year-old right-hander came out of his last start for a pinch hitter after throwing just 49 pitches in four innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday. He gave up six hits and two runs with no walks or strikeouts. He seemed less than thrilled to exit so early.
"I understand the situation," he said. "I don't make the calls on it. I leave that up to (manager Mike Shildt). I just have to make pitches, and (he) just didn't want me out there after that. Just there to do what I can. That was my time to come, I guess. That was my time to be done."
Kansas City is hoping Brad Keller (7-12, 4.09 ERA) can stop a personal three-game losing streak. He had won his prior three starts but has struggled to get run support recently. In his past four starts, he has received a total of seven runs from his offense, including just two runs in two starts on the offensively prolific road trip.
"I felt like everything was a little off," Keller said after his last start, a 5-2 loss in Detroit on Friday. He allowed five runs on 10 hits in six innings. "I felt like my breaking ball was a little short, wasn't getting to the plate. (My) fastball just wasn't where I wanted it to go.
"I felt like we made pretty good adjustments in the middle of the game, put up some zeros there and tried to keep the team in it as much as I could, and then ran into a snag at the end of the sixth."
Keller has tasted success against the Cardinals, with a 1-0 record and a 2.00 ERA. He defeated Michael Wacha in St. Louis in May, giving up just two runs on two hits in seven innings. He also had two scoreless innings in relief in two appearances last year.
Kansas City has won three of Keller's four interleague starts this year, as he's posted a 2.92 ERA (eight earned runs in 24 2/3 innings). He's 2-2 lifetime with a 3.66 ERA in nine interleague games, including six starts.
Despite his recent struggles, he is 10-5 with a 3.04 ERA in 18 career starts following the All Star break in his two seasons, tied for the fifth-most second-half victories in the major leagues since 2018.
--Field Level Media