After wasting a 4-0 lead in their 6-5 10-inning loss to the Chicago Cubs Sunday to lose their weekend series, the St. Louis Cardinals will face a stiff test Monday when the Miami Marlins visit.
The Marlins will start Pablo Lopez (5-3, 2.61 ERA) in the opener of the three-game series at Busch Stadium.
Lopez won his last start 7-4 over the Colorado Rockies on June 22 while allowing just one unearned run on four hits and three walks in seven innings. That was his first victory since May 7.
"Pablo was nice, he was a little rough early," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "But he got smoother and got better as the game went. It was good to see him get through seven."
On April 21, Lopez blanked the Cardinals for seven innings and struck out nine batters in a 5-0 victory.
He is 1-1 with a 1.74 ERA in three career starts against the Cardinals. Lopez has been particularly successful against Paul Goldschmidt (0-for-6) and Harrison Bader (0-for-5).
The Cardinals will counter with Adam Wainwright (5-5, 3.32 ERA), who is coming off back-to-back rough outings. Wainwright allowed eight runs on 14 hits and two walks over 11 innings in his last two starts.
Wainwright won his previous start against the Marlins this season, 5-1 on April 19. He allowed the one run on five hits and two walks in 5 2/3 innings.
He is 7-2 with a 2.99 ERA in 15 career outings against Miami, including 13 starts.
Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol has been forced to shuffle his relievers with Genesis Cabrera on the 10-day injured list, presumably for COVID-19 since he isn't hurt. Cabrera has been one of the team's top three late-inning options, along with Giovanny Gallegos and Ryan Helsley.
"He's done a nice job for us," Marmol said of Cabrera. "He's one of those guys that has bridged us to our back end. You can use him in a lot of different ways. The versatility he gives you in one-inning stints, two or three-inning stints, he's just super valuable. So losing him definitely doesn't help, but next man up."
In Cabrera's absence Sunday, Marmol used Junior Fernandez and Zack Thompson in a high-leverage situations. Gallegos and Helsley were unavailable after extended outing Saturday, but both could be ready Monday.
Bullpen depth could be an issue against the Marlins, though, since the Cardinals got just two innings from Sunday's starting pitcher Jack Flaherty before he exited the game with shoulder stiffness. That forced relievers to cover eight innings.
"It was not ideal," Marmol said. "We were already going into this game with our two back-end guys down."
The Marlins adjusted their bench Sunday, bringing back infielder Erik Gonzalez back from Triple-A Jacksonville after designating Williams Astudillo for assignment.
Miami outfielder Avisail Garcia (hamstring tightness) sat out again Sunday, but he could return for Monday's game. "We didn't want to push him," Mattingly said. "Want to get him healthy. I'm not quite sure what to expect (Monday), but we'll see what we get."
Shortstop Jazz Chisholm Jr. (back spasms) and outfielder Jorge Soler also sat out Sunday, but both could return to the lineup Monday.
--Field Level Media