St. Louis (31-28) at Miami (29-31)

Fair Currently: Miami Gardens, FL
Temp: 83° F
  • Game info: 7:10 pm EDT Wed Jun 10, 2009
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As Albert Pujols(notes) continues to struggle at the plate, so do the St. Louis Cardinals.

The reigning NL MVP looks to break out of his worst slump of the season while trying to help the visiting Cardinals avoid extending their season-worst losing streak to six games Wednesday night against the Florida Marlins.

Pujols went hitless in four at-bats in St. Louis’ 4-3 loss to Florida in Tuesday’s series opener. The Cardinals (31-28), who are 5-11 since winning five in a row, are batting .209 and have been outscored 37-12 during their five-game losing streak. They’re averaging 3.1 runs in the last 16 contests.

“I guess I’m somewhat at a loss for words,” said outfielder Ryan Ludwick(notes), who has gone 3 for 25 in eight games this month to drop his average to .232, to the Cardinals’ official Web site. “I know everyone’s putting the effort in. It’s just, I don’t know, man.”

Some of the recent struggles could be traced to Pujols, who is hitless in his last 15 at-bats. The last time he was in such a slump was April 3-8, 2007. Hitless in his last four games, Pujols, who is batting .320, has only gone without a hit in five consecutive games once during his stellar career—Sept. 23-28, 2001, of his rookie season.

Pujols also went a career-worst 0 for 17 during the same season.

Rick Ankiel’s(notes) two-run double highlighted a three-run third inning Tuesday for the Cardinals, who are mired in their longest losing streak since dropping seven in a row from Sept. 10-17.

Though he hasn’t pitched poorly of late, Adam Wainwright(notes) (5-4, 3.35 ERA) looks to avoid a third straight loss for the Cardinals.

Wainwright, who is 2-3 with a 2.21 ERA in his last five starts, allowed two earned runs and three hits while striking out eight in six innings of an 11-4 loss to Colorado on Friday.

The right-hander has pitched well versus the Marlins during his career, going 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA in two career starts.

Jeremy Hermida(notes) homered off Jason Motte(notes) to lead off the ninth inning Tuesday to give Florida (29-31) its second straight victory while improving to 6-3 on an 11-game homestand.

“All I was thinking was, ‘Ballgame,’” said Hermida after helping the Marlins improve to 10-6 following a month-long stretch when they went 8-24 after winning 11 of their first 12 contests.

Emilio Bonifacio(notes) added two hits and three RBIs on Tuesday for the Marlins, who last won three in a row from April 28-30.

Like Wainwright, Florida’s Chris Volstad(notes) (4-5, 3.65) looks to avoid a third straight loss despite having not allowed more than three runs in either of his last two outings.

Volstad gave up a two-run homer to Pablo Sandoval(notes) and eight hits while striking out five in six innings of a 2-1 loss to San Francisco on Friday.

“It just seems that one pitch got me, again,” Volstad told the Marlins’ official Web site. “It seems like that’s been the story in every start, one pitch, or one inning has got me.”

The right-hander gave up three runs in five innings of a 4-3 win over the Cardinals on Aug. 12, his only previous start against them.

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Starting Pitchers

A. Wainwright StL vs. C. Volstad Pit
19-8 Record 9-13
2.63 ERA 5.21
212 K 107
66 BB 59
1.21 WHIP 1.43


Wednesday, Jun 10