After another big game from Holliday, Wainwright looks to take sole possession of the major league lead in wins Sunday against the lowly Washington Nationals.
Holliday hit a three-run homer to lift St. Louis (76-55) to a 9-4 win over Washington on Saturday night. The NL Central-leading Cardinals, a victory away from a three-game sweep, have won 23 of their last 30 games.
Holliday has a played a big role in the surge, batting .376 with eight home runs and 32 RBIs since being acquired from Oakland on July 24. He is hitting .341 with eight homers, 15 doubles and 34 RBIs in 35 games versus the Nationals.
The left fielder’s latest homer came on the first pitch he saw in the third inning.
“I’m always looking to hit early in the count,” Holliday said. “Everybody knows that. I get in the box, I’m ready to hit.”
Holliday went 0 for 6 in the last two games Wainwright (15-7, 2.50 ERA) started. However, the Cardinals won both contests as the right-hander gave up a total of two runs.
Wainwright was particularly sharp in his last outing, allowing three hits in eight innings to earn a 1-0 victory over Houston on Tuesday night.
He is 2-1 with a 2.57 ERA in four starts versus the Nationals.
Washington (46-84) will counter with Garrett Mock(notes) (3-5, 5.23), who won his last start despite giving up four runs in 5 2-3 innings as Washington beat Chicago 15-6 on Tuesday night. The right-hander went 2-1 with a 2.12 ERA in his previous three outings.
This will be Mock’s first appearance against the Cardinals.
He’ll face a St. Louis team that scored three runs or fewer in four straight contests before Saturday, but won three of them.
Albert Pujols(notes) has gone 8 for 15 with three homers and five RBIs in four games against Washington this year. He went 2 for 3 with two doubles, two runs and an RBI on Saturday, and was walked intentionally a major league-leading 39th time.
Adam Dunn(notes) is coming off another strong performance for Washington, as he hit his 35th homer and finished with two hits. Dunn is batting .228 in 121 games versus St. Louis but is 7 for 15 against Wainwright.
The Nationals, losers of 12 of 18, may need another strong effort from Dunn if they hope to beat Wainwright. Despite Washington’s difficulties in recent weeks, it can clinch its first winning month since September 2007 on Sunday or on Monday at San Diego.