A young pitcher coming off one of his best starts will face a young pitcher coming off one of his worst outings when the Atlanta Braves host the St. Louis Cardinals in the second game of a four-game series on Tuesday.
St. Louis will send rookie right-hander Andre Pallante (2-3, 2.10 ERA) to the mound against Atlanta right-hander Ian Anderson (6-5, 5.31).
The Braves won the series opener 6-3 on Monday. The game was interrupted by a two-hour, 37-minute rain delay.
Pallante, 23, will be making his sixth start since joining the rotation last month. He has not allowed more than three runs in any start. In his latest appearance, Pallante pitched a career-high seven innings and allowed two runs on five hits with one walk and two strikeouts in a no-decision against the Miami Marlins on Wednesday.
Pallante credited teammate Dakota Hudson for influencing him to take a more bulldog-style approach to the mound. Hudson had a rehab stint last year when Pallante was pitching for Double-A Springfield.
“When Hudson rehabbed with us, his goal was always, ‘I’m trying to get as deep into the game every time I go out there and pitch,'” Pallante said. “I’ve always been kinda like, my job is to put up zeros however you want me to do it. And I never really got deep into games.
“Having him talk to me and reshape my mentality helped me find the zone more and trust myself. It helped me be the best me I can be. That’s probably one of the biggest things I’ve learned and I’m applying now.”
Pallante will be making his first career appearance against the Braves.
Anderson, 24, is coming off a poor effort in a 14-4 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday. Anderson was knocked out after two innings, having allowed a career-high seven runs on seven hits with one walk and one strikeout.
“Just one of those things,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. “Got to flush it and get ready for the next one.”
Anderson has never pitched against St. Louis.
The Cardinals were awaiting a report on reliever Johan Oviedo, who was hit in the right hand by a line drive in the sixth inning on Monday and had to leave the game. X-rays were negative, but his availability was undetermined.
Oviedo, who pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings before being struck, has been a reliable multi-inning option out of the bullpen since joining the team in early June. He was worked more than one inning in six of his eight relief appearances.
The Braves helped their bullpen depth by activating left-handed reliever Tyler Matzek on Monday. The setup man went on the injured list in mid-May due to left shoulder inflammation. He struck out five of the six batters he faced in two scoreless rehab appearances with Triple-A Gwinnett.
Matzek’s presence could help a bullpen that has struggled since closer Kenley Jansen went on the injured list on June 28 with an irregular heartbeat. Jansen cannot return until July 12.
Will Smith, last year’s closer, has five saves but has retired the side in order just once in his past eight appearances. He loaded the bases in the ninth inning on Monday before retiring Albert Pujols on a comebacker to end the game.
–Field Level Media