Berkman looks to stay hot as the Cardinals open a three-game set with the struggling Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night at Busch Stadium.
Berkman, now in his 13th season, ranks 12th among active players with 337 home runs, the majority of which came during his 11-plus years in Houston.
Berkman hit .255 with a homer in limited action with the New York Yankees after he was acquired via trade July 31, and his signing with St. Louis (18-14) in December was considered an afterthought.
The switch-hitting right fielder, though, is playing like the five-time All-Star he was in his earlier years with the Astros, if not better. His .392 average ranks second in baseball to only teammate Matt Holliday’s(notes) .417 mark, and his 10 homers are tied for second with Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun(notes).
“I felt good about putting us up right there, so all in all a real good day,” Berkman told the Cardinals’ official website. “I’m just going up there and trying to have good at-bats. It’s been a good run.”
“He’s really swinging well against left-handed pitching,” manager Tony La Russa added.
Since losing back-to-back outings to open the year, Wolf has allowed just 13 hits and compiled a 0.65 ERA in his last four starts spanning 27 2-3 innings. He allowed one run and four hits in seven innings but left without a decision in a 2-1 loss at Houston on Saturday.
“Wolf was outstanding again,” manager Ron Roenicke said. “He was spotting his fastball well. He was throwing the cutters in and opened up the nice curveball. He threw a couple nice changeups, too.”
Wolf is 2-0 with a 1.23 ERA in his last two road matchups with St. Louis.
The Brewers, who have taken 18 of 25 from the Cardinals at Busch Stadium, have lost a season-worst six straight on their 10-game trip, including Thursday’s 2-1 defeat at Atlanta.
Milwaukee has been outscored 31-7 during its skid and things aren’t about to get any easier with center fielder Nyjer Morgan(notes) expected to miss up to four weeks. Morgan suffered a broken middle finger on his left hand just two days after returning from the disabled list with a right quadriceps injury.
“It’s tough. It’s not going good,” Roenicke said. “We’re all looking forward to getting the team back to full strength. Nyjer’s a big part of that. He’s a spark to our lineup. He does a great job defensively.”
Jaime Garcia(notes) (3-0, 2.48) will look to add to Milwaukee’s recent offensive woes. The left-hander gave up four runs - three earned - and five hits in six innings but didn’t receive a decision in Sunday’s 6-5 road loss to the Braves.
Garcia is 2-0 with a 0.64 ERA at home, where he has gone 1-1 with a 0.95 ERA in three starts against the Brewers. Garcia, though, allowed a career-worst seven runs over four innings in his last outing in the series, an 8-1 defeat at Miller Park on Sept. 8.