The resourceful San Francisco Giants will seek their sixth consecutive victory when they visit the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday night.
The Giants won the opener of the three-game series at Busch Stadium 7-2 on Friday night.
Shortstop Brandon Crawford exited in the eighth inning with hamstring muscle cramping, and his status for Saturday’s game is unclear. But the Giants have overcome injuries all season while deploying fill-ins in an aggressive platoon system.
“They’re doing a great job over there of giving their players a great chance to succeed,” Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright said after taking Friday’s loss. “They’ve got like a line change, righties and lefties, they pull out the whole shift.
“It’s pretty interesting to see. It’s working for them. They have the best record in baseball. I don’t think anybody can second-guess their moves.”
The Giants will start right-hander Anthony DeSclafani (10-3, 2.68 ERA). Since struggling in May (2-2, 5.58), he was consistently good in June (4-1, 1.69) and so far this month (2-0, 1.23).
In his most recent outing, DeSclafani threw six scoreless innings in a 10-4 victory over the Washington Nationals last Saturday. He struck out six, walked just one and allowed only three hits.
DeSclafani is going through a professional resurgence with the Giants after spending five seasons with the Cincinnati Reds. After going 1-2 with a 7.22 ERA in nine outings in 2020, he is enjoying the National League West race this season.
San Francisco (58-32) enters the game with the best record in baseball, two games up on the Los Angeles Dodgers in the division.
“It’s awesome,” DeSclafani said. “It’s so much fun to be a part of this team. It’s such a great group of guys. Everyone just seems selfless. It’s just fun coming to the ballpark.”
DeSclafani is 7-4 with a 3.75 ERA in 17 career outings against the Cardinals.
The Cardinals will start left-hander Kwang Hyun Kim (4-5, 3.11). In his most recent three starts, Kim allowed just one run on 11 hits in 17 innings while crediting an improved changeup for his success. He recorded two wins and a no-decision over that span.
“That effort that I did in Korea worked,” Kim said through an interpreter after throwing six shutout innings in his last start, a 6-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs. “I’m sure it will work throughout my career in the majors. From today onward I will have more confidence in my changeup.”
He blanked the Giants for seven innings during a 5-3 victory earlier this month in his first career appearance against them.
The Cardinals adjusted their bullpen for this series, adding T.J. McFarland from Triple-A Memphis and sending Brandon Waddell back to that club.
The Giants made some roster changes ahead of this series, activating outfielder Mike Tauchman and purchasing the contract of reliever Jay Jackson, who earned the victory Friday. Infielder Jason Vosler returned to Triple-A Sacramento.
Catcher Buster Posey remained sidelined with a thumb injury but could return shortly. Also, pitcher Kevin Gausman, who was scheduled to start Friday, left the team to be with his wife, who was hospitalized with pregnancy complications. Logan Webb filled in for him.
–Field Level Media