Cards look to break out of rut, welcome Giants to town

Field Level Media
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Jun 11, 2023; St. Louis, Missouri, USA;  St. Louis Cardinals Nolan Arenado (28) hits a triple in the third inning against the Cincinatti Reds at Busch Stadium.
Jun 11, 2023; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; St. Louis Cardinals Nolan Arenado (28) hits a triple in the third inning against the Cincinatti Reds at Busch Stadium.
Image: Zach Dalin-USA TODAY Sports

The struggling St. Louis Cardinals will look to generate more offense and clean up their fielding when they begin a three-game set against the visiting San Francisco Giants on Monday night

The Cardinals have lost nine of their last 12 games heading into the series opener. St. Louis hitters went 1-for-18 with runners in scoring position over the last two games, a pair of losses to the Cincinnati Reds


St. Louis also made multiple mental and physical mistakes in the field.

"We have to be perfect to win right now," Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said after Sunday's 4-3 loss. "We don't have the luxury of giving up extra outs or making a mistake or walking a guy. That's where we're at


"There's certain guys in our lineup that feel pretty good and there's certain guys that don't. It's been difficult to string together quality at-bats to produce a crooked-number type inning."

Catcher Willson Contreras is 3-for-24 in June after batting just .158 In May. Shortstop Paul DeJong is 6-for-32 in June after hitting just .202 in May.

The Cardinals open the series by turning to left-hander Matthew Liberatore (1-2, 6.00 ERA), who will make his first career appearance against the Giants

Liberatore threw five scoreless innings in his first start since his call-up from Triple-A Memphis. Since then, he has allowed 11 runs (10 earned) in 10 innings over his last three outings -- one relief appearance and two starts.


He blamed his lack of curveball command for his recent struggles.

"I think it's being more consistent with it," Liberatore said. "When I'm able to land it for a strike and establish the fastball, I tend to have better results. So it's just going this week and making sure that every day the curveball feels good and it's where I want it and carrying that into the next outing."


The Giants will try to get right-hander Logan Webb (4-6, 3.09) back on track on Monday. He has a 5.11 ERA in two starts this month, allowing seven runs on 12 hits and three walks in 12 1/3 innings

Those struggles have come after Webb posted a sterling 1.30 ERA in five starts in May.


Webb lost his previous start against the Cardinals this season on April 27. He allowed just two runs on seven hits while striking out seven, but he fell to 2-2 with a 5.55 ERA against St. Louis in five career starts

The Giants have won four of their last six games. They got their offense rolling during their 13-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Sunday, which featured shortstop Brandon Crawford making his pitching debut in the blowout


Giants second baseman Thairo Estrada hit two homers and drove in four runs in Sunday's win. He has a 1.076 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in June

"He's been a catalyst to our team," Giants outfielder Joc Pederson told NBC Sports Bay Area in reference to Estrada. "He hits the ball all over the field, he steals bases, he makes web gems and then he can also knock it out of the park. He's doing it all, it's fun to watch, I'm really happy for him.


Pederson also hit two homers and had four RBIs against the Cubs on Sunday.

--Field Level Media