San Francisco (53-44) at St. Louis (61-34)

Fair Currently: St. Louis, MO
Temp: 49° F
  • Game info: 8:10 pm EDT Fri Jul 23, 2004
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The St. Louis Cardinals have scored runs in bunches all season, but their surprising pitching staff has been the driving force behind their run to the best record in baseball.

The Cardinals will try to contain Barry Bonds when they begin a three-game series with the visiting San Francisco Giants.

St. Louis, which leads the New York Yankees by a half-game in the race for the majors’ best mark, has won 12 of its last 13 at home. The Cardinals have won 15 of 17 overall.

Jason Marquis threw eight sharp innings and Jim Edmonds homered off Ben Sheets as St. Louis shut out Milwaukee for the second straight game, 4-0 on Thursday. The Cardinals beat the Brewers 1-0 on Wednesday.

“We’ve got a bunch of guys throwing the ball great here and we’re all feeding off each other,” Marquis said. “Hopefully we can keep it rolling through the rest of the season.”

Marquis tied Matt Morris and Chris Carpenter for the team lead in victories and made the Cardinals the only team with three 10-game winners. He’s 7-0 over his last nine starts and 9-1 in his last 12 appearances.

Jeff Suppan will go for his 10th win for St. Louis on Friday. The right-hander is 3-0 with a 2.63 ERA over his last four starts.

The Cardinals will face Bonds and the Giants for the first time this season after going 1-5 against them in 2003.

Bonds, who is 0-for-6 with no walks lifetime against Suppan, has hit 34 of his 682 career home runs against St. Louis. However, Bonds has only four home runs this month and has hit just one over the last 10 games.

Bonds went 2-for-3 with a double on Thursday, but San Francisco lost to San Diego 9-4, the Giants’ fourth loss in their last seven.

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Starting Pitchers

D. Hermanson Cin vs. J. Suppan SD
6-9 Record 16-9
4.53 ERA 4.16
102 K 110
46 BB 65
1.36 WHIP 1.37