Wainwright looks to remain unbeaten at Busch Stadium this season as the Cardinals open a three-game series with the Brewers on Friday night.
With five wins in seven games, St. Louis (31-23) has pulled into a tie with Cincinnati for first place in the NL Central. The Cardinals closed the gap with a 4-1 win over the Reds on Wednesday night.
A series with Milwaukee (22-32) gives St. Louis a chance to at least keep pace in that race, but the Cardinals need to find a way to end their woes at home against their division rival. St. Louis has dropped four straight and 13 of 16 against the Brewers at Busch Stadium, posting a 5.02 ERA.
Wainwright (7-3, 2.28 ERA) seems to be taking his turn in the rotation at an ideal time for the Cardinals. He has a 2.10 ERA in winning each of his four starts at home.
The right-hander has faced the Brewers four times in St. Louis, going 1-1 with a 2.28 ERA, and is 5-3 with a 2.40 ERA in 11 career outings against them.
Wainwright earned a win at Chicago in his last start, allowing one run and striking out eight in seven innings of a 9-1 victory Sunday. He got six runs to work after St. Louis was shut out in his previous start.
“I love it,” Wainwright told the Cardinals official website. “I wish it was like that every time.”
St. Louis’ lineup hopes to give Wainwright strong support again, and the return of Felipe Lopez(notes) would certainly help. Lopez is expected to play after missing Wednesday’s game due to a bruised right thumb.
The Cardinals’ leadoff hitter is hitting .342 (13 for 38) over his last 10 games.
Matt Holliday(notes) has also had a strong run, batting .520 (13 for 25) with six RBIs, eight walks and no strikeouts during a seven-game hitting streak. The three-time All-Star is hitting .408 with 10 homers, eight doubles and 29 RBIs in 37 games versus the Brewers.
St. Louis now faces Milwaukee starter Randy Wolf(notes) (4-4, 4.46), who is 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA in his last two outings. The veteran left-hander yielded two runs in five innings of a 10-4 loss to New York on Sunday.
Wolf is 3-5 with a 3.55 ERA in 11 starts versus the Cardinals, but has a 4.82 ERA in losing all three of his outings at St. Louis.
Milwaukee couldn’t take advantage of some effective pitching Thursday night, losing 3-2 to Florida. The Brewers have lost four of five after winning five of six.
“Every loss is frustrating. It’s never fun, it’s never enjoyable,” left fielder Ryan Braun said. “You just have to continue to work hard, continue to believe in the process and the results will be there.”
Braun is hitting .385 with five homers and 18 RBIs in 21 games at St. Louis. Brewers slugger Prince Fielder(notes) is 7 for 18 (.389) in his last five games at Busch Stadium, hitting two home runs in his last contest there—a 9-7, 10-inning Milwaukee win Oct. 4.
St. Louis won two of three games at Milwaukee from April 9-11, the teams’ first series of this season.