Cardinals P Jack Flaherty seeks happy homecoming vs. Dodgers

MLB

St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Jack Flaherty will be the visiting pitcher Monday but will feel right at home when he faces the Los Angeles Dodgers in the opener of a three-game series.

The Los Angeles-area native will pitch at Dodger Stadium for just the third time in his career since he was selected in the first round of the 2014 draft by the Cardinals out of nearby Harvard-Westlake High School.

It will be the second consecutive start with a hometown angle for Flaherty after he squared off against former high-school teammate Lucas Giolito on Tuesday at Chicago. The White Sox right-hander got the best of the matchup as Flaherty took the loss in an 8-3 defeat.

Consider Monday a do-over. In his first major-league start at Dodger Stadium in 2018, Flaherty took a no-hitter into the sixth inning before Joc Pederson hit a home run. In his second outing there in 2019, he struck out 10 in seven innings.

Flaherty, 25, also has two starts against the Dodgers at St. Louis and he is 1-1 with a 1.08 ERA against them lifetime with 36 strikeouts in 25 innings.

Above personal success, Flaherty (8-1, 2.84 ERA) will try to help the Cardinals rebound from a 9-2 defeat at Arizona on Sunday that prevented a four-game sweep. The Cardinals saw their four-game winning streak come to an end.

“Don’t get too bogged down by (the loss),” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said afterward. “We got some guys off their feet (Sunday). We did some things well, but not enough of them, and we’ll get ready to go and play L.A.”

The Dodgers will stumble into the series after losing three straight to the rival San Francisco Giants in a four-game series. Before the series, the Dodgers had won nine of 10 and 13 of 15.

The turning point against the Giants came in the ninth inning of Friday’s game when the Dodgers’ Albert Pujols launched what appeared to be a game-ending home run. But Giants outfielder Mike Tauchman reached over the wall to make the catch.

San Francisco finished off that victory in 10 innings and won the next two days as well, handing the Dodgers a 5-4 defeat on Sunday. The Dodgers were scoreless through seven innings in Sunday’s game before Max Muncy and Pujols hit two-run home runs in the final two innings.

While Pujols has three home runs in 12 games since joining the Dodgers, Muncy has a home run in three of his past four games and 10 in May alone with 19 RBIs.

“I feel good right now,” said Muncy, whose home run Sunday was the 100th of his career. “I’m just going out there and trying to help the team win, to put us in position to win games. As long as I can do that every night, that will make me happy.”

The Dodgers will go with right-hander Trevor Bauer (5-3, 2.07 ERA) in the series opener. On Wednesday against the Houston Astros, Bauer allowed two runs in six innings and took the loss in the Dodgers’ 5-2 defeat.

Bauer has gone six innings in 10 of his 11 starts this season and has given up two earned runs or less in 10 consecutive outings. In two career starts against St. Louis, he is 0-1 with a 5.56 ERA.

–Field Level Media

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