Chicago (46-38) at St. Louis (52-32)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: St. Louis, MO
Temp: 74° F
  • Game info: 8:10 pm EDT Fri Jul 9, 2004
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The St. Louis Cardinals, who began their eight-game home winning streak against the Chicago Cubs, look to extend it when the NL Central rivals open a three-game set.

St. Louis’ streak started with victories over Chicago on June 23 and 24. The first-place Cardinals will now be looking to continue their home run and increase their six-game lead in the division over the second-place Cubs.

St. Louis has won six straight overall, outscoring opponents 34-10, and is a season-best 20 games above .500.

Manager Tony La Russa set a goal of being 20 games above .500 for his team. Now that the club is there, he wants more.

“That’s kind of a magic number,” he said. “It means something, it doesn’t mean a lot, though. You get some magic numbers in September, then you can start getting really excited.”

Jim Edmonds homered for the second straight game Wednesday to help the Cardinals complete their seventh sweep of the season, and third in the last four series, with a 4-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds.

Chicago was swept in a three-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers, losing the finale 4-0 on Wednesday.

The Cubs managed just two runs in 27 innings, trailed for 26 innings, never led in the series and got shut out twice. The Cubs hadn’t been swept in a series of three or more games since Sept. 24-26, 2002, against the Cincinnati Reds.

Sammy Sosa, though, is trying not to let the sweep get him down.

“It’s not a slump, no,” said Sosa, who went 1-for-8 in the series. “There’s nothing you can do about it. You get ready for the next series.”

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Starting Pitchers

G. Maddux LAD vs. J. Marquis Cin
16-11 Record 15-7
4.02 ERA 3.71
151 K 138
33 BB 70
1.18 WHIP 1.42