In the midst of their longest losing streak of the season, the time seems right for the St. Louis Cardinals to try and add a spark to their lineup.
The Cardinals are expected to have top prospect Oscar Taveras on the roster Saturday afternoon when they resume a four-game series with the San Francisco Giants.
The 21-year-old was scratched from the lineup at Triple-A Memphis on Friday night and will replace Matt Adams on the Cardinals' roster. The first baseman Adams heads to the disabled list due to a tight left calf.
Taveras is regarded as one of the top prospects in all of baseball, a claim he has lived up to so far this season. A career .321 hitter in the minors, Taveras is batting .325 in 49 games this season with seven homers and 40 RBI.
"I think everybody should be excited; I know he is," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said on his team's website. "We've been waiting for a while. (There have) been a lot of people anticipating him getting here and hopefully we can limit the distractions for him for where he just goes and plays the game."
Taveras arrives with the Cardinals having lost three in a row, including the first two of this series, and four of their last five.
In Friday's 9-4 setback, St. Louis ace Adam Wainwright had a rare rough outing, giving up seven runs on eight hits and a walk over 4 1/3 innings in his worst start of the season. Wainwright gave up four of those runs in the second inning with two outs.
"The way he's been throwing you don't expect to score a lot of runs like that," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of Wainwright.
Bochy, meanwhile, saw his starter Madison Bumgarner hurl seven scoreless innings, striking out 10 and scattering three hits to help the Giants win for the eighth time in nine games.
Hunter Pence smacked a three-run homer and Michael Morse added an RBI single among his two hits to go with a run scored in the triumph.
The Cardinals got all four of their runs in the eighth inning as Jon Jay connected on a three-run double and Allen Craig added a run-scoring hit, an encouraging sign for Matheny.
"It got pretty far away from us but you're still seeing guys grind out the at- bats," the Cards manager said.
Michael Wacha looks to get St. Louis on track today and he is coming off a second straight no-decision. It was a solid outing however as he held the New York Yankees to three runs on four hits and two walks over seven innings on Monday to match his longest start of the campaign.
Wacha is 3-3 with a 2.67 earned run average, winning all three of those games over his six starts at home, and has not allowed more than three runs in any of his 11 outings this season.
The 22-year-old righty has never before faced the Giants, who will give Yusmeiro Petit another start in place of the injured Matt Cain.
Cain was unable to go on Monday versus the Chicago Cubs due to a strained right hamstring and the Giants opted to skip him again today. In fact, Cain will head to the DL retroactive to May 22 with the plan to activate him in time to start on Friday versus the New York Mets.
Petit has filled in a few times as a starter this season, going 3-2 with a 5.08 ERA in 14 games with four starts. He took an 8-4 loss to the Cubs on Monday, charged with four runs on six hits over five innings.
Petit, a 29-year-old righty, is 2-2 lifetime against the Cardinals with a 5.75 ERA in six meetings with three starts.
St. Louis and San Francisco are meeting for the first time this season and the Cardinals took four of six matchups in 2013.