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4:05 PM PT5:05 PM MT6:05 PM CT7:05 PM ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 PM MST6:05 PM EST6:35 PM VEN3:05 UAE (+1)6:05 PM CT, August 4, 2018
PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania  Attendance: 32,473

Cardinals to use rookie reliever Gomber as starter vs. Pirates

Rookie left-hander Austin Gomber is part of a St. Louis youth movement and he's getting a new opportunity Saturday.

He is scheduled to start for the Cardinals against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park after being used primarily as a reliever this season. He is being given the chance to fill an open spot in the rotation with Carlos Martinez on the disabled list.

"Pitching is pitching, but obviously I'm definitely excited to be in the rotation, definitely excited about the opportunity," Gomber (1-0, 3.22 ERA) told "It kind of (stinks), because obviously we're a better team when Carlos is healthy. Nobody wants to see him get hurt. But I'm just going to try and do what I can do to replace him to the best of my ability."

Gomber, 24, will be making his second career start and it comes on the heels of his first big league win Wednesday in relief. He tossed a scoreless, 14-pitch sixth inning with two strikeouts in a 6-3 victory over Colorado -- a game in which several young and lightly experienced Cardinals were key.

"Youth doesn't change talent," Gomber said. "Coming up with these guys through the organization, this is something we had always talked about internally, hopefully getting the chance together. We're getting it right now and trying to take advantage of it."

St. Louis couldn't quite take advantage of it Friday in the series opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Cardinals erased a four-run deficit but lost 7-6, a game in which the teams combined for 27 hits. St. Louis stranded 16 runners.

The Pirates moved into third place alone in the National League Central after the clubs entered Friday's game with identical 56-53 wins.

Pittsburgh has won 15 of its past 19 games.

"We'll try to keep this momentum going," said Adam Frazier, whose third hit Friday was a single up the middle in the eighth inning to drive in the tiebreaking run.

The Pirates are still making tweaks and covering new ground. Starter Chris Archer and reliever Keone Kela made their team debuts Friday after being obtained in trades, and left fielder Corey Dickerson (hamstring) is eligible to come off the DL on Saturday.

Pittsburgh also recalled reliever Dovydas Neverauskas from Triple-A Indianapolis and optioned starter Nick Kingham and reliever Steven Brault to Indianapolis.

St. Louis outfielder Dexter Fowler left after the eighth inning Friday after fouling a ball off his left foot. reported he has a broken foot and will be put on the DL.

Gomber has faced Pittsburgh once, throwing three scoreless, hitless innings of relief on June 2.

He is scheduled to face Pittsburgh right-hander Ivan Nova (6-6, 4.33 ERA).

Nova is 4-1 with a 3.59 ERA in nine starts since being reinstated from the DL after a finger injury. He has won two home games in a row after going 0-3 in his first four starts at PNC Park.

In his most recent outing, Nova allowed four runs (three earned) and six hits in five innings on July 27 in what became a 5-4 walkoff Pirates win over the New York Mets. He is going more than a week between starts because of two open days in the Pirates' schedule and an adjustment to the rotation schedule -- everyone was pushed back a day -- so Archer could pitch Friday.

Against the Cardinals, Nova is 1-2 with a 4.18 ERA in four career starts, all in 2017.

Updated August 3, 2018

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