Major League Baseball

Pivetta makes return as Phillies host Cardinals

7:05 p.m. ET; NBCSP, MLBN, FS-M, MLB.TV

Nick Pivetta will make his first start for the Philadelphia Phillies since April 16 when they open a three-game series against the visiting St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday.

The right-hander opened the season as the Phillies’ No. 2 starter but struggled to a 2-1 record and 8.35 ERA through his first four starts and was optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Pivetta compiled a 3.41 ERA and recorded 50 strikeouts in 37 innings with the IronPigs. He was 4-1 and gave up 22 hits and 20 walks.

“We feel like there’s been some steps
taken,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said. “He’s had some success and there have been some bumps in the road. (Pitching coach) Chris Young and I plan on having a good conversation with him and arming him with some information that will help him on Tuesday.”

The Phillies had Monday off after completing a successful seven-game road trip by splitting a four-game series with the Chicago Cubs and winning two of three at Milwaukee to go 4-3 overall.

Philadelphia, which is still amid a difficult 20-game stretch, fell 9-1 to the Brewers in the series finale Sunday.

“We knew (this stretch) was going to be a major challenge,” Kapler said. “So to go into the last game of the series with a chance to sweep against an excellent team — and be assured of a winning road trip — I think that is powerful. I know it’s meaningful. Equally as meaningful as where we are on Memorial Day is how we handled this road trip.”

The inconsistent Cardinals are winless in their last seven series and could be on the way to setting a dubious franchise record. The Cardinals have yet to win back-to-back games in the month of May and could become the first St. Louis team since 1903 to finish May without consecutive wins.

The Cardinals are 7-16 in May and have fallen to .500.

On Sunday, the Cardinals blew a 3-0 lead and lost 4-3 to the visiting Atlanta Braves in 10 innings. The Braves scored three runs in the ninth and one in the 10th.

“They all sting,” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt told reporters. “That one stings a little more than most. We just have to be able to figure out a way to bring it home.”

St. Louis will start fresh and attempt to win Tuesday at Philadelphia. That’s the mindset of the club — one game at a time.

“Every day is a new day,” Cardinals pitcher Jack Flaherty said. “We were 1-0 yesterday (Saturday). We went 0-1 (Sunday). The more times we can be 1-0, the better off we’re going to be at the end of the season. We have been 0-1 a lot this month. Our record right now is our record. But it’s not going to be our record at the end of the season.”

The Cardinals will hand the ball to veteran Adam Wainwright to open the series.

The right-hander is 4-4 with a 4.82 ERA and has struggled recently in allowing eight runs over his last nine innings. He has lasted past the fifth inning only once in his last four starts.

Wainwright has not been the same pitcher on the road as he holds a much better 3.00 ERA at home.

He is 7-2 with a 2.90 ERA in 15 career appearances (13 starts) against the Phillies, including a win in his most recent start in 2017.

–Field Level Media

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