Cardinals bringing big bats to Giants’ ballpark

Two of the most productive visiting hitters in the history of San Francisco’s Oracle Park take aim at struggling Giants starter Logan Webb when the St. Louis Cardinals kick off a four-game visit on Thursday night.

Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt, former National League West rivals of the Giants, have teamed up in St. Louis and look to continue their high-powered assault on enemy territory.

Since Oracle Park’s opening in 2000, Goldschmidt has more homers (13) than any other visitor. Right behind is Arenado with 12.

Goldschmidt, a 12-year veteran who played his first eight seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks, also leads all Oracle Park visitors in runs (44) and doubles (21). He has compiled a career average of .327 and career OPS of .995 at the Giants’ home park.

A 10-year veteran who was a member of the Colorado Rockies for eight seasons, Arenado isn’t far behind in several categories. His career average at Oracle Park is .277, with an OPS of .840.

Neither slugger has recorded an extra-base hit against Webb in his career. Goldschmidt has gone 2-for-4 with an RBI, while Arenado has been limited to 1-for-7 with a strikeout.

Arenado warmed up for his San Francisco visit with a single, homer and five RBIs in a 10-0 win at Kansas City on Wednesday. The homer was his seventh of the season, which is tied for second-most in the NL behind C.J. Cron’s nine.

The two-hit game raised his season average to .360, fourth-highest in the NL.

Goldschmidt collected three walks and scored a run. He ranks tied for 13th in the NL in walks with 13.

The Cardinals had totaled just two runs in splitting their first two games of the series with the Royals, something that was weighing on Arenado’s mind when he stepped to the plate in the first inning Wednesday with two men on.

“We’ve just got to be better,” said Arenado, whose first at-bat resulted in a three-run homer. “We are better. I believe it. We have to start showing it. We don’t want to waste games.”

Webb (3-1, 3.26 ERA) is coming off consecutive wins over the Nationals, but wasn’t on top of his game in either, allowing a total of 18 hits and six runs over 12 2/3 innings.

The 25-year-old right-hander has gone just 0-1 with a 10.80 ERA in two career starts against the Giants.

He’s scheduled to be opposed by fellow righty Miles Mikolas (1-1, 1.52), who hasn’t allowed more than two runs in any of his five starts this season.

The 33-year-old has gone 1-1 with a 3.31 ERA in six career games against the Giants, including two starts. He has never won at Oracle Park, going 0-1 with a 6.35 ERA in three games (one start).

He served up a grand slam to Austin Slater in an 8-4 loss in that lone start in 2018.

Mikolas will be facing a Giants team shut down by Los Angeles Dodgers pitching in a two-game sweep in Southern California the last two nights.

San Francisco manager Gabe Kapler pinpointed a problem after Wednesday’s 9-1 defeat that also was a factor in the series-opening 3-1 defeat.

“When we get leadoff hitters on consistently, we’re going to score runs,” he said. “(That) didn’t happen in this series, and certainly didn’t happen in (Wednesday’s) game.”

–Field Level Media