|Braves' Foltynewicz seeks better effort against Cardinals|
The Atlanta Braves hope to see more signs that right-hander Mike Foltynewicz is ready to resume his role as the team's top-of-the rotation starter when the club begins a three-game series in St. Louis on Friday.
Foltynewicz (0-3, 6.91 ERA) will be opposed by veteran St. Louis right-hander Miles Mikolas (4-4, 4.88) in the first game.
The two clubs met for a three-game series in Atlanta last week, and the Braves won two of three. This will be the final series for the teams in the regular season. St. Louis will begin a stretch where it is at Busch Stadium for 11 of its next 14 games.
Atlanta began its seven-game road trip by winning three of four in San Francisco, winning 5-4 in 13 innings on Thursday afternoon. St. Louis, which did not play Monday, split a doubleheader against Kansas City on Sunday.
Foltynewicz was hammered by St. Louis when the two teams met last week in Atlanta. The Cards clobbered him for eight runs on seven hits and three walks in only 4 2/3 innings. He seemed to return to form on May 19 against the Brewers, when he allowed two runs on three hits in six innings before leaving early because of dizziness.
"If we get Folty back to where he was, that's just going to make our club better," Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. "He's shown he can do it. From the last start to this start, he's been through a whole lot. They did a lot of work, and that was a good outing to build on."
Foltynewicz said, "There's still a lot of work to be done. I felt like we broke off a pretty good outing just with the mechanics. Just cleaning that up made all my pitches a little cleaner."
Foltynewicz historically has had trouble against the Cardinals. In six previous starts, he is 2-4 with a 9.33 ERA. He has struck out 24 and walked 18 in 27 innings.
Mikolas has lost his last two starts. He pitched seven innings and allowed two runs against Pittsburgh on May 11, but was ripped for seven runs in 1 1/3 innings in his most recent outing against Texas.
"I think I was pulling off a little bit, stuff that was supposed to be going away, I was yanking it middle, stuff that was supposed to be in, I was yanking it off the plate," Mikolas said. "Just not a good game."
St. Louis manager Mike Shildt said, "The reality is you make quality pitches and you execute your pitches, you're going to get out."
Mikolas will make his fourth career appearance and the third start against Atlanta. He did not pitch when the clubs met last week in Atlanta. In his last start against the Braves, Mikolas watched his teammates hit four homers and five doubles in an 11-6 win on Sept. 17, 2018.
The Braves could be close to getting big right-hander Chad Sobotka back in the bullpen. He was sent to Triple-A Gwinnett for a rehab assignment on Thursday.
The Cardinals optioned right-hander Ryan Helsley to Triple-A Memphis. Outfielder Lane Thomas, who was recalled to be the 26th man for the Sunday double-header, will remain on the 25-man roster.
--Field Level Media