The Phillies and Cardinals open a three-game set on Monday night at Citizens Bank Park. The teams are meeting for the second time in a month after splitting a four-game set in May at Busch Stadium. Pivetta (4-6 Gary Jennings Jr. Jersey , 4.25 ERA) has an 8.36 ERA and opponents are hitting .352 with a .940 OPS against him through three June starts. The 25-year-old had a 3.26 ERA and .230 batting average against during his first 11 starts of the season. Pivetta’s hardships were evident in his last start. Facing the Colorado Rockies, he allowed six runs, eight hits and three walks in five innings of a 7-2 loss on Wednesday. It was the fourth straight start in which Pivetta took a loss. “I think that his composure hasn’t been perfect, but he’s a young, developing pitcher,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler told MLB.com after Pivetta’s start. “He’s going to have his bumps. He’s going to have hiccups along the way. I think this is just an indication of that.” Pivetta did not pitch against the Cardinals when the Phillies faced them last month, but he saw St. Louis twice last year. Pivetta allowed seven earned runs and struck out 12 in 11 innings during those starts. Pivetta will be facing a Cardinals team that posted a 5-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Sunday night but still has lost five times in its last seven games. The Cardinals (37-32) enter the series four games behind the first-place Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Central. Right-hander Miles Mikolas (7-2, 2.43) will be on the mound in the series opener. Mikolas, who spent the last three seasons pitching in Japan, leads the Cardinals with an 0.96 WHIP and his 2.43 ERA is the best in their rotation. The Cardinals are 9-4 in Mikolas’ starts, but they lost in his last outing. He gave up three runs and six hits in six innings against the San Diego Padres in a 4-2 loss on Tuesday. “He was throwing the ball well http://www.seahawksauthorizedshops.com/authentic-phil-haynes-jersey , and he came back and threw the ball well (after a three-run inning),” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny told reporters after Mikolas’ last start. “He’s on a nice roll.” The Phillies are looking for their third series victory in a row. They are returning home for three games against the Cardinals after taking two of three against the Milwaukee Brewers over the weekend Philadelphia was a 10-9 winner over Milwaukee on Sunday as Maikel Franco went 2-for-3 with a home run and four RBIs. The third baseman was making just his second start since June 6 and homered for the first time since May 26. “Mikey has shown an incredible attitude recently,” Kapler said when he met with reporters after the victory. “He’s come to the ballpark and prepared, even when he has not been in the lineup.” Rhys Hoskins also homered and is batting .333 (10-for-30) with four homers and 11 RBIs since returning from a broken jaw. CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Indians, who are in first place in the American League Central Division, are in the midst of a portion of their schedule in which they have an opportunity to lengthen their division lead, or see it evaporate — quickly. Saturday at Progressive Field the Indians will host the division-rival Minnesota Twins in the second game of a three-game series. Saturday’s game will be the Indians’ ninth game in a 16-game stretch in which they will play only AL Central teams. In the first eight games in that span the Indians are 4-4, including a 6-3 loss to the Twins Friday night. Overall this season the Indians are 18-12 against AL Central teams, including 11-3 at Progressive Field. The Twins are 15-10 against AL Central teams, and 5-2 against Cleveland. Both teams made roster moves prior to Friday’s game. The Indians activated outfielder Tyler Naquin off the disabled list and placed first baseman Yonder Alonso on the family medical emergency list. Naquin was in the lineup Friday and played center field. He went 1-for-3 in his first game since being placed on the DL on May 11 with a strained left hamstring. The Twins on Friday activated first baseman Joe Mauer off the disabled list and recalled infielder Taylor Motter from Triple-A Rochester. Mauer and Motter replace infielder Miguel Sano, who was optioned to Class-A Fort Myers Ugo Amadi Jersey , and outfielder Jake Cave, who was optioned to Rochester. “It’s really been bothering him that he hasn’t been contributing while we’ve been losing. His biggest goal is to win,” Twins manager Paul Molitor told the Minneapolis Star Tribune regarding Sano. “Some things have knocked him off course from time to time, and it’s time to address them.” Mauer missed 25 games with a cervical strain/concussion-like symptoms. Motter was claimed off waivers from Seattle on May 28 and hit .167 (7-for-42) at Rochester. Although the Indians are just 6-7 in June, they are encouraged by the improved work by their bullpen, which was the American League’s worst over the first two months of the season. However, in the month of June, the Indians’ 2.30 bullpen ERA ranks fifth. Two new additions, left-hander Oliver Perez and right-hander Neil Ramirez, have been key contributors in the bullpen’s resurgence. “We were hoping that with an opportunity to pitch for those guys, good things would happen Dwayne Haskins Jersey , and that’s what happened,” said Indians manager Terry Francona. “Perez has helped a lot, and Ramirez has some swing and miss stuff. Things are definitely settling down (in the bullpen).” The pitching matchup Saturday will be a pair of right-handers: Cleveland’s Carlos Carrasco vs. Minnesota’s Fernando Romero. Carrasco (8-4, 3.90 ERA) is coming off his best start of the season, a 4-0 win over the White Sox on June 11. In that game, Carrasco pitched seven scoreless innings. He gave up two hits and recorded 11 strikeouts with one walk. Carrasco has started two games against the Twins this season and is 0-1 with a 5.06 ERA. In 19 career appearances (16 starts) against Minnesota, Carrasco is 5-7 with a 3.97 ERA. The 23-year-old Romero (3-2, 3.92) will be making his ninth major league start and his first against Cleveland. Romero’s last start was a 7-5 win over the Angels on June 10. Romero pitched five innings in that game, giving up three runs (two earned) on five hits, with five strikeouts and two walks. Romero’s rookie season started well but has been bumpy in recent starts. In his first three starts he was 2-0 with a 0.54 ERA. But in his last five starts he is 1-2 with a 6.20 ERA.
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