St. Louis (26-23) at Pittsburgh (23-23)

Fair Currently: Pittsburgh, PA
Temp: 72° F
  • Game info: 4:35 pm EDT Mon May 31, 2004
  • TV: KPLR, ESPN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Jason Marquis will try to rebound from his worst start of the season as the St. Louis Cardinals open a four-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Marquis, a consistent starter for the Cardinals this season, lost 11-8 to the visiting Pirates on Wednesday, giving up six runs and nine hits over a season-low four innings. The right-hander had won his previous two starts and had gone eight games without surrendering more than three runs.

“You’re going to have some of those nights,” Marquis said. “Hopefully it’s one of the last ones that we have.”

The Cardinals lost 7-1 at Houston on Sunday, snapping their three-game winning streak and missing a chance to go a season-high five games over .500. St. Louis also fell into a third-place tie with Chicago in the NL Central, 2 1/2 games out of first.

“We had a chance to get one game closer, so it’s disappointing from that standpoint, most definitely,” said Cardinals right fielder Reggie Sanders, who went 1-for-4 in Sunday’s loss.

The Cardinals did win the series with the Astros, their first series victory since taking two of three from the New York Mets from May 18-20.

Albert Pujols hit his major league-leading 15th homer for St. Louis, giving him six homers in his last nine games.

“We won the series,” said manager Tony La Russa. “That’s what we’ve got to take out of here.”

The Pirates also had their three-game winning streak halted Sunday when they failed to complete a four-game sweep of the Cubs, losing 12-1.

“I’ll take three out of four every time,” Pittsburgh manager Lloyd McClendon said.

Randall Simon drove in the lone run for Pittsburgh.

The first baseman, who was on the 15-day disabled list with a left hamstring injury before being activated Friday, is 4-for-7 with two RBIs and a walk since his return.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Marquis SD vs. K. Benson Ari
15-7 Record 12-12
3.71 ERA 4.31
138 K 134
70 BB 61
1.42 WHIP 1.31