Andrew McCutchen led all Major League hitters in batting average (.563), on-base percentage (.652) and slugging (1.063) last week.(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
SCOUTING REPORT: The Cardinals and Pirates hardly could be closer than they have been through their first 10 meeting this season. Each side has won five games and five of the 10 have gone into extra innings with the home team having won all five of those. ... This will be the first of two series the Pirates play here within a month before the Cardinals make their last trip to Pittsburgh in the final week of the regular season. The Cardinals have won all three games played here this season, in 10 innings, 11 innings and 14 innings. For the season, the Cardinals have scored 36 runs to 35 for Pittsburgh.
Pirates star Andrew McCutchen is coming off a week in which he was named National League player of the week for hitting .563 and slugging 1.061 over a five-game span. ... Catcher Francisco Cervilli is hitting .412 over his last 15 games and Korean rookie Jung Ho Kang, whom the Cardinals also bid for this offseason, is batting .375 over his last 22 games with seven doubles and five homers.
With Monday’s day off, the Pirates skipped newly obtained lefthander J.A. Happ in their rotation. Thus, the feature matchup of the series will come Wednesday when the league’s top two winners, Pittsburgh’s Gerrit Cole (14-5) and the Cardinals’ Michael Wacha (13-4), will be paired.
Over their last 80 games the Pirates are 52-28 for the major leagues’ best record. The Pirates, who are five games back of the Cardinals in the NL Central, have not been any closer than 2½ games, by which they trailed at the All-Star break after taking three of four games from the Cardinals in Pittsburgh. ... The Cardinals and Pirates are 1-2 in team earned run average at 2.60 and 3.23, respectively.
Tuesday, 7:15 p.m.
RH Carlos Martinez (11-4, 2.57 ERA) vs. LH Jeff Locke (6-6, 4.31).
Wednesday, 7:15 p.m.
RH Michael Wacha (13-4, 2.92) vs. RH Gerrit Cole (14-5, 2.39).
Thursday, 6:15 p.m.
RH Lance Lynn (9-6, 2.76) vs. LH Francisco Liriano (7-6, 3.13).