Cardinals turn to Jordan Montgomery vs. White Sox


Opposing hitters’ optimism often plunges when St. Louis Cardinals left-hander Jordan Montgomery commands a certain pitch

Montgomery is 4-1 with a 1.66 ERA in his past seven starts, a run he hopes to extend during Friday’s visit to the Chicago White Sox behind the mastery of a nasty slider

“Not only the movement of the pitch, but it’s coming from a big body and it’s coming downhill right at you,” Cardinals catcher Andrew Knizner said. “As a hitter, it’s kind of intimidating seeing Monty throwing that sinker down right at you.

St. Louis would appreciate the pick-me-up Montgomery (6-7, 3.28 ERA) often has provided the struggling club.

On Thursday, the Cardinals salvaged a victory to avoid a four-game sweep in Miami with a 3-0 shutout. It marked their first win since Sunday, when Montgomery surrendered only an unearned run on two hits and three walks with six strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings to defeat his former team, the New York Yankees

Montgomery has fanned at least six batters in five straight starts, thanks in part to his effective sinker.

“You can know it’s coming, and it’s still hard to hit because it’s so heavy and it has so much downward plane movement,” Knizner said. “It’s his bread and butter, and it’s something we can lean on.”

St. Louis and Chicago enter the final series before the All-Star break in pursuit of elusive momentum.

The reigning National League Central champion Cardinals are 15 games below .500 and in last place

The White Sox, who harbored American League Central title hopes entering the season, are a season-worst 15 games under the break-even mark after the visiting Toronto Blue Jays swept Thursday’s home doubleheader

Chicago played solid fundamental baseball for much of the twin bill, which saw the teams enter the 11th inning of the opener in a scoreless tie. Things unraveled, however, as Toronto collected seven of its eight hits in the 11th en route to a 6-2 win.

White Sox reliever Aaron Bummer surrendered five of the Blue Jays’ six straight singles, but manager Pedro Grifol was encouraged that Bummer persevered

“(It’s) understanding that that’s part of the game and you made good pitches. They just found holes,” Grifol said. “It’s pretty simple. If you understand that and understand that’s part of the game, you just keep going.”

Chicago led 3-1 after three innings of Game 2 but was unable to hold on while allowing 16 hits. The White Sox have lost five of six and are winless in their past seven series openers

Righty Dylan Cease (3-3, 4.10) gets the call for Chicago as he tries for his first win since May 23. Cease has had a no-decision in seven straight starts.

He has not faced the Cardinals in his career

Montgomery is 2-0 with a 2.22 ERA in four career starts against the White Sox. He hasn’t faced Chicago since joining the Cardinals from the Yankees in an August 2022 trade. He took a no-decision against the host White Sox on May 14 of last season, surrendering two runs and six hits in 4 1/3 innings

–Field Level Media



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