The teams open a three-game weekend series—the second series in less than two weeks between the clubs—on Friday at Dodger Stadium.
The Cardinals (53-41) are 22-22 on the road this season, and are looking to move above .500 away from home for the first time since June 23 as they embark on a 10-game road trip.
“It will be a good test,” said St. Louis manager Tony La Russa, whose club swept a four-game series against the Dodgers at Busch Stadium immediately following the All-Star break.
The road trip begins at a convenient time for the workers at Busch Stadium, who were left to clean up a big mess after a storm did significant damage to the $365 million facility on Wednesday. Thirty people were injured while high winds blew out press box windows, overturned portable concession stands and ripped the tarp before the game.
“I can’t remember a storm like that in St. Louis,” La Russa said.
The Cardinals are 5-2 since the break and have won eight of their last 10 overall after salvaging the finale of their three-game series against the Atlanta Braves with an 8-3 win on Wednesday.
“I’m getting one good (swing) a day,” said Edmonds, who has homered in each of the last three games. “I’m just trying to keep my head above water.”
The Cardinals will hand the ball to Jeff Suppan (6-5, 5.52 ERA), who is looking for his first win since June 17. The right-hander has struggled for much of the past two months, going 2-3 with a 6.11 ERA in his last 11 starts.
He pitched seven strong innings against the Dodgers last Saturday, giving up one run and five hits, but did not receive a decision in the Cardinals’ 2-1 win.
“There’s nothing you can do to clean the slate,” Suppan said. “I think your season is your season. So it’s important to focus on what your task is at hand.”
Suppan is 2-3 with a 4.75 ERA in six career starts against the Dodgers.
Los Angeles (47-49), which has dropped seven of eight games since the All-Star break, will counter with NL All-Star starter Brad Penny (10-3, 3.26).
The right-hander lost his first start after the break on Sunday against the Cardinals, giving up a season-high six runs in five innings of the 11-3 loss defeat.
Penny will have to figure out how to pitch to Albert Pujols, who is batting .440 (11-for-25) with two homers against him. The Cardinals first baseman has also homered three times during his current nine-game hitting streak.
The Dodgers lost to the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-2 on Thursday, continuing the team’s struggles
“I just see a team that things just aren’t happening for them right now,” Los Angeles manager Grady Little said. “The effort is there. It’s something we’ve got to get through.”
Nomar Garciaparra continued to struggle, going 0-for-4 and hitting into two of the team’s four double plays. The first baseman is batting .172 (5-for-29) over his last seven games.