MLB

Pirates-Cardinals Preview

ST.LOUIS - Jameson Taillon and Steven Brault have already made successful major league debuts in the last month for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Now comes perhaps their top pitching prospect down the assembly line to take the mound for the first time as a big leaguer.

Right-hander Tyler Glasnow will make his debut Thursday as Pittsburgh tries to sweep a four-game series from the St. Louis Cardinals in St. Louis for the first time since 1997.

Glasnow will officially be called up for the start in the morning, although he already had locker space in the team's dressing room Wednesday. The 6-foot-6 Glasnow went 7-2 with a 1.78 earned run average this year at Triple-A Indianapolis, fanning 113 over 96 innings.

"I think it speaks to the way we raise players in our system," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said of this run of young pitchers. "But once you're here, the biggest challenge starts. Do you like to compete Can you make adjustments?"

That's a question Glasnow's mound opponent has answered many times over the years.

Cardinals' right-hander Adam Wainwright gets the call, hoping to snap his team's 10-game losing streak at home against winning teams.

Wainwright (7-5, 4.70) is coming off a 3-0 win Saturday over Milwaukee, tossing seven innings despite not having his top velocity or command, particularly to his arm side. He used more curves to compensate and induced three double play balls.

St. Louis needs a big outing from Wainwright in the worst way. It fell to third place Wednesday night with a come-from-ahead 7-5 loss in which it coughed up a 5-1 lead, and might have lost yet another player to a growing disabled list.

The Cardinals only All-Star, second baseman Matt Carpenter, suffered a right oblique injury on a half-swing in the third inning and left the game. Carpenter went through an MRI tube after the game, but details were not available afterwards.

When Carpenter last suffered an oblique injury in 2012, he missed a month. A similar absence would rob St. Louis of a guy batting .298 with 14 homers and 53 RBI from the leadoff spot.

"I dont know the similarities," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said of the injuries, "But when he grabbed (at it), we just had to get him off the field. High level of concern."

If Carpenter has to go on the disabled list, he would be the fourth player the team has had to shelve since Friday.

Reliever Kevin Siegrist (mono), first baseman/outfielder Brandon Moss (ankle) and backup catcher Brayan Pena (left knee) are on the DL. Additionally, third baseman Jhonny Peralta (left thumb) left Tuesday night's game early and wasn't available on Wednesday night.

The injuries haven't helped during the Cardinals latest losing homestand, which has left them 18-26 at Busch Stadium, where last year they were 55-26. Wednesday night's defeat dropped St. Louis (43-41) into third place in the National League Central, a half-game behind the Pirates (43-40).

Pittsburgh will try to stretch its season-high winning streak to eight games.

"We're just playing a bit better than the other team," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle explained said. "We're not reinventing the game."

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