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St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Kyle Gibson took pride in completing six innings in his previous start, but that perseverance came at a cost after he allowed six runs in the initial frame.

Gibson (1-1, 6.23 ERA) will try to rebound on Saturday when the Cardinals face the Arizona Diamondbacks in the middle contest of a three-game set in Phoenix.

St. Louis posted a 9-6 win in the series opener Friday night to start a six-game road swing.

"It's never good when your team doesn't have a chance after the first inning," Gibson said following his 10-3 loss to the Miami Marlins on Sunday. "So I felt like I executed a lot of pitches late in the game, but I've been told you obviously can't win the game in the first but you can lose it in the first. Unfortunately, I just didn't give the team a chance to win.

"So getting through six, sure. But you want to be competitive all six innings."

Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol noted that Gibson fulfilled his obligation as an innings-eater and spared the bullpen extra work in the loss.

"What he did was incredibly important," Marmol said. "When you have an outing like that, and you're going to have them -- it won't be the last one that somebody has this year where it goes south early -- your ability to not let it impact that next day is huge."

Gibson won his first start as Cardinal, 6-2 on April 1 at San Diego. He allowed a pair of homers and four hits overall over seven innings.

Gibson is 3-2 with a 2.10 ERA in five career starts against the Diamondbacks.

The Cardinals brought a stronger lineup into this series after outfielder Lars Nootbaar returned from his rib injury. He hit a two-run homer Friday, and third baseman Nolan Arenado also went deep for the first time this season.

The Diamondbacks on Saturday will hand the ball to right-hander Ryne Nelson (0-2, 8.22 ERA), who suffered a 5-2 loss Sunday to the Atlanta Braves in his most recent start. Nelson allowed three runs on five hits -- including two homers -- in five innings. He struck out seven and did not walk a batter.

In his one career appearance against the Cardinals, Nelson has allowed five runs on eight hits over six innings in a no-decision last July.

Arizona needs to get Nelson on track with veteran starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez struggling to return from a lat strain. Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo noted that Rodriguez's comeback has hit a hitch.

"E-Rod threw his bullpen a couple of days ago and felt some tightness, and we decided to pull back on his progression," Lovullo said Friday. "What that means, what his timetable is, I'm not sure. I just know he spoke up, which we've asked our athletes to do.

"I hurt for him, the athlete. I hurt for this team. It's a bit of a setback. Maybe a couple of extra weeks. But this ballclub is ready to accept any challenge put before them. They're a tough team. They are resilient. They've had to make many adjustments and be very adaptable, big words inside of our culture."

--Field Level Media

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