|10:35 AM PT11:35 AM MT12:35 PM CT1:35 PM ET13:35 ET17:35 GMT1:35 10:35 AM MST12:35 PM EST1:05 PM VEN21:35 UAE11:35 AM CT, June 19, 2022
Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts Attendance: 35,989
Red Sox turn to Nick Pivetta to take series from Cardinals
St. Louis Cardinals at Boston Red Sox
- The Red Sox and Cardinals have played more World Series games against each other (24) than regular-season games (16). This will be their first matchup since 2017, when they met four times (twice in St. Louis and twice in Boston) and the Red Sox won all four games.
- Cardinals relief pitchers have a major league-high .739 winning percentage this year (17-6), though their bullpen ERA (3.78) ranks them 14th in the majors. St. Louis has 10 different pitchers with at least one win as a reliever this season; only Pittsburgh (11) has more.
- The Red Sox have a major-league best 2.01 team earned-run average in June, after posting a 4.44 team ERA in May (22nd in MLB). Boston has not allowed an earned run in five of its 14 games this month.
- Minnesota's Luis Arraez leads the major leagues with a .354 batting average this season but the next four highest averages belong to Red Sox or Cardinals players: J.D. Martinez (.351), Paul Goldschmidt (.347), Xander Bogaerts (.332) and Rafael Devers (.329).
- Adam Wainwright's only regular-season game against the Red Sox was a 5-2 win in St. Louis on Aug. 7, 2014 (7.0 IP, 7 hits, 2 runs). Wainwright lost both of his starts versus the Red Sox in the 2013 World Series (Game 1 at Boston and Game 5 in St. Louis), allowing three earned runs in each game.
- Michael Wacha spent his first seven seasons in the major leagues with the Cardinals, posting a 59-39 record in regular-season games for St. Louis, which ranked him second on the club in wins over that span, behind Adam Wainwright (82). Wacha was 4-3 in postseason play for the Cardinals, including two starts at Fenway Park in the 2013 World Series (1-1).
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Nick Pivetta looks to continue his winning ways on Sunday afternoon when the host Boston Red Sox play the rubber match of their three-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Pivetta (6-5, 3.50 ERA) improved to 6-1 with a 1.83 ERA in his last eight starts after allowing one run on three hits in eight innings of a 6-1 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday.
The 29-year-old right-hander has paid dividends this season after Boston acquired him and prospect Connor Seabold from the Philadelphia Phillies in 2020 in exchange for pitchers Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree.
"I don't know if it's change of scenery or if it's just (Pivetta) growing up," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said, per the Boston Herald. "Maybe he'd be pitching this way in Philly right now. Sometimes you have to be patient. The organization pulled the trigger. They saw potential, right? At that point the Phillies needed some relievers and it happened. This guy is really good. He keeps learning and understanding that he has to work. ...
"He tries to be perfect, he keeps working on his mechanics, his release points, his slider, so to get a pitcher like this it was a good one. It was a good trade."
Pivetta also has provided length in his starts, including at least seven innings in four of his last seven starts.
"I think it's really important," Pivetta said. "It's what I've really worked on my whole career to kind of get to."
Pivetta owns a 1-1 record with a 4.63 ERA in four career starts versus St. Louis, although Nolan Arenado (3-for-5, RBI) has enjoyed success in a small sample size versus the hurler.
Arenado has belted a homer in back-to-back games to begin this series. He launched a two-run homer in the first inning on Saturday night, and the Cardinals scored six runs in the sixth inning to cruise to an 11-2 romp over the Red Sox.
Another Nolan also went deep on Saturday. Nolan Gorman joined Tyler O'Neill in clubbing a solo homer as St. Louis sent Boston to its fourth loss in its last 16 games.
"He took it as a challenge as far as that we were losing defense by bringing him up here," Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said of Gorman, per the St. Louis-Post Dispatch. "He's developing his skill set at second (base)."
Tommy Edman is batting a robust 22-for-71 (.310) with 16 runs during this month for the Cardinals, who turn to rookie right-hander Andre Pallante (2-1, 1.46 ERA) on Sunday afternoon.
Pallante, 23, sustained his first loss on Wednesday after allowing two runs on as many hits in 2 1/3 innings in a 6-4 setback to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Pallante will be making his 21st career appearance and first versus Boston on Sunday. He would be wise to tread carefully around Xander Bogaerts, who is riding an 11-game hitting streak.
The Red Sox, however, mustered just five hits on Saturday -- all singles.
--Field Level Media
Updated June 19, 2022