St. Louis (70-41) at Milwaukee (56-56)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Milwaukee, WI
Temp: 71° F
  • Game info: 8:05 pm EDT Mon Aug 8, 2005
  • TV: ESPN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Though his team barely finished its homestand above .500, Tony La Russa hopes the St. Louis Cardinals play the same way on their road trip.

Opening the first of back-to-back series on the road against division rivals, the Cardinals look to solidify their lead in the NL Central as they meet the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park.

The Cardinals beat the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves 5-3 on Sunday. Light-hitting shortstop David Eckstein hit a game-winning grand slam in the ninth inning for St. Louis, which took two of three from the Braves in a matchup between the teams with the NL’s two best records.

“Once in a while,” La Russa said, “you get a miracle.”

Albert Pujols also homered for the Cardinals, who split a four-game set against the Florida Marlins before the series with Atlanta.

Monday’s contest marks the beginning of a seven-game road trip that also includes a four-game series with Chicago.

“We were severely tested to have a 4-3 week,” said La Russa, whose team leads second-place Houston by 10 games in the Central. “We competed hard. If we compete like we did this week—whatever the numbers are—we’re ready for the next one.”

The Brewers beat the Philadelphia Phillies 2-0 on Sunday for their sixth win in eight games. Tomo Ohka pitched eight innings and Rickie Weeks drove in both runs for Milwaukee, which took two of three from both Philadelphia and New York on its road trip.

“Historically, these are two tough places for us to play,” manager Ned Yost said. “To win four out of six, it’s a great road trip. We got to carry the momentum over when we get home.”

St. Louis starter Matt Morris will square off against Milwaukee’s Victor Santos in the series opener.

Morris allowed just two earned runs and eight hits in five innings of an 11-4 win over Santos and the Brewers on July 18 in his first victory over Milwaukee since 2003.

Santos was pounded for six runs and seven hits in three innings and was charged with the loss in his shortest start of the season.

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Starting Pitchers

M. Morris Pit vs. V. Santos SF
14-10 Record 4-13
4.11 ERA 4.57
117 K 89
37 BB 60
1.28 WHIP 1.50