McCutchen rests, so Tabata bats third

Jose Tabata gets high-fives after homering last night. (AP photo)
Jose Tabata gets high-fives after homering last night. (AP photo)

ST. LOUIS — Tonight will be the first time anyone but Andrew McCutchen has batted in the 3 hole. With Cutch getting the night off to rest, Jose Tabata has earned the right to fill Cutch’s spot by hitting at a .367 clip during a seven-game hitting streak. Since April 20, Tabata is batting .351, which is the third-best average in the majors among right fielders.

»»» Once he got past the first batter of the game, Cardinals RHP Lance Lynn dominated the Pirates on April 20. Alex Presley hit an inside-the-park homer, then Lynn settled in and tossed seven strong innings. He gave up four hits and struck out four. “He competes very well,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “He’s got good late life to his fastball and the slider can be a swing-and-miss pitch. That was the reason he was able to come up and help them in the bullpen initially. Now, he’s making pitches, pounding the zone, hitting spots and keeping the ball down. He’s been a very nice addition for them in the absence of (Chris) Carpenter.”

»»» Pirates starters own a combined a 2.95 ERA and have been charged with two earned runs or fewer in 17 of the first 23 games. The only teams in the National League with a better ERA for their starters are the Nationals (1.89), Cardinals (2.69), Phillies (2.78) and Dodgers (2.86).

»»» The Triple-A Indianapolis home game at 11:05 a.m. Monday against Lehigh Valley will be televised by MLB Network. The network also will carry the Triple-A all-star game at 7 p.m. July 25.

»»» The Cardinals will retire Tony LaRussa’s uniform No. 10 on May 11. He ranks third in MLB history in managerial wins (2,728). His will be the 12th uni number retired by the Cards. Two years ago, they retired Whitey Herzog’s No. 24.

Game 24: Pirates @ Cardinals, 8:15 p.m. ET

Pirates (10-13): 1. Alex Presley lf, 2. Nate McLouth cf, 3. Jose Tabata rf, 4. Neil Walker 2b, 5. Pedro Alvarez 3b, 6, Garrett Jones 1b, 7. Clint Barmes ss, 8. Rod Barajas c, 9. A.J. Burnett rhp (1-1, 1.38)

Cardinals (15-8): 1. Rafael Furcal ss, 2. Jon Jay cf, 3. Matt Holliday lf, 4. Carlos Beltran rf, 5. David Freese 3b, 6. Yadier Molina c, 7. Matt Carpenter 1b, 8. Daniel Descalso 2b, 9. Lance Lynn rhp (4-0, 1.33)