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liny195 Sep 14

Luke Weaver’s best start of the season came last month against the Philadelphia Phillies. Weaver will try to emulate that success Tuesday night as the Phillies face the St. Louis Cardinals in the middle of a three-game series at Citizens Bank Park.

The 24-year-old Weaver (4-6 Jaron Brown Jersey , 4.52 ERA) allowed just one run and four hits and notched six strikeouts in seven innings against the Phillies on May 17. Weaver has gone seven innings in just one of his 13 other starts this season.

Weaver, who has a 3.00 ERA and 1.167 WHIP in two career starts against Philadelphia, struggled in both of his last two appearances. He allowed eight runs, 16 hits and six walks in the two outings (10 1/3 innings), including four runs and nine hits in 5 1/3 innings of his last game against the San Diego Padres.

“He used everything. Thought he had a real nice changeup, he was smart with the breaking ball,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said of Weaver after his last start. “But that last inning, there were a lot of hard hit balls.”

Weaver has lost four straight decisions, a streak that dates to his previous start against the Phillies.

Vince Velasquez, who will oppose Weaver again on Tuesday Deion Sanders Jersey , picked up the win in that game last month.

Velasquez (5-7, 4.74) held the Cardinals scoreless for 6 1/3 innings and struck out five in a 6-2 Phillies win. He had a 6.30 ERA in four starts after that game, but the hard-throwing right-hander was dominant the last time he was on the mound.

Facing the Colorado Rockies last Thursday, Velasquez carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning. He gave up just one hit and two runs before exiting after 6 2/3 innings and 105 pitches.

“I thought that was as confident as I’ve ever seen him,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler told MLB.com about Velasquez. “But most notably for me was how comfortable he looked in his own skin today. It was a breath of fresh air, and I think when things aren’t going that smoothly for him, if he can maintain that composure, maintain that easiness and maintain that confidence, that’s when he’s going to reach his true potential.”

Velasquez is 1-1 with a 3.65 ERA and 1.297 WHIP in two career starts against St. Louis.

The Phillies are going for their fourth straight win after getting an unlikely walk-off victory in the 10th inning Monday night. Aaron Altherr hit a game-winning, two-run double that bounced past a diving Marcell Ozuna in left field.

Philadelphia’s 6-5 win came after its bullpen gave up two runs with two outs in the ninth inning and the go-ahead run on a Tommy Pham homer in the 10th.

“They came back in the ninth against us Frank Gore Jersey , but we still thought we could win this game,” Altherr told NBC Sports Philadelphia after his heroics. “It shows how resilient this team is. We never give up and always fight.”

The Cardinals, meanwhile, have dropped six of their last eight games.

Daniel Poncedeleon wasn’t going to let a sore neck ruin his major league debut, not after all he’s come through in the last year. The Cardinals‘ determined rookie shook it off and made St. Louis history.

Poncedeleon was sensational 14 months after suffering a severe head injury, throwing no-hit ball for seven innings Monday night before Eugenio Suarez led the Cincinnati Reds‘ rally in the ninth for a 2-1 victory.

The 26-year-old right-hander was hit on the right temple by a line drive while pitching for Triple-A Memphis on May 9 last year, fracturing his skull and causing bleeding in the brain. He had emergency surgery followed by months of slow recovery.

Poncedeleon was one of the top pitchers in the Pacific Coast League when St. Louis called him up Monday to help their injury-depleted rotation. With 10 family members cheering from the stands, he walked three and struck out three , threw 116 pitches and gave way to a pinch-hitter in the eighth with St. Louis up 1-0.

”I don’t know if words can describe that,” interim manager Mike Shildt said. ”It’s what’s magical about this game and what we love about this game – stories like that.”

Poncedeleon prayed for calmness before his debut Vontae Davis Jersey , went to the bullpen to warm up and hurt his neck on one pitch.

”I tweaked my neck in the bullpen and had a hard time looking toward home plate,” he said. ”I was a little nervous then.”

The neck was fine once the game began. Poncedeleon joined the Dodgers’ Ross Stripling as the only major leaguers to throw at least seven no-hit innings in their debuts since 1908.

Given his high pitch count, Shildt had no thought about leaving him in.

”We weren’t in a situation where he would have been able to finish that game with a no-hitter,” Shildt said. ”It was his time.”

Jordan Hicks gave up a one-out single up the middle by pinch-hitter Phillip Ervin in the eighth for Cincinnati’s first hit.

Suarez’s two-out, solo homer off Bud Norris (3-3) tied it 1-1. The closer then loaded the bases on a pair of singles and a walk, and pinch-hitter Dilson Herrera singled to end the Reds’ losing streak at four games. Jared Hughes (3-3) pitched the ninth.

”We don’t mind waiting until there two outs in the ninth to score some runs,” said Tucker Barnhart, who singled to help load the bases. ”It makes it a little nerve-wracking on the bench.”

Matt Carpenter had a pair of hits that extended his streak, including a double in the fifth inning off Luis Castillo. Yadier Molina followed with a single for his 17th RBI against the Reds this season, the most by any major league player against Cincinnati.

Carpenter homered in six straight games last week Demar Dotson Jersey , a streak that ended on Sunday. He’s 14 for 28 in the last eight games.

IN THE INTERIM …

The Cardinals are 3-4 under Shildt. The Reds are 41-41 under interim manager Jim Riggleman.

GOTCHA

Tommy Pham was thrown out while trying to stretch a leadoff hit into a triple in the seventh inning. Umpire Quinn Wolcott called Pham safe, but the replay indicated he came off the base briefly while being tagged.

ROOKIE SHOW

The Cardinals plan to start three rookies in the series, the first time they’ve had three rookies start in a row since September 1997 when Mike Busby, Matt Morris and Manny Aybar pitched against the Cubs. The last time they had three straight rookie starters before September was in August 1959, when Bob Gibson, Ernie Broglio and Marshall Bridges faced the Phillies, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Cardinals: Infielder Kolten Wong went on the 10-day DL with a sore left knee, opening a roster spot for Poncedeleon.

Reds: Second baseman Scooter Gennett was sick and out of the lineup. He pinch hit in the ninth and struck out. … Infielder Alex Blandino had surgery to reconstruct his ACL and repair damage to his MCL. He was injured in Friday’s game. His recovery is expected to take between six and eight months.

UP NEXT

Cardinals: LH Austin Gomber (0-0) makes his first major league start after 15 relief appearances this season, including two against the Reds.

Reds: Homer Bailey (1-7) returns from the DL and makes his first start since May 28. He’s been sidelined by a sore right knee. Bailey has made 12 starts for the Reds and has a 6.68 ERA.

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