While Westbrook takes the mound opposite Jimenez, the Cardinals are hoping Holliday can return from an injury as they open a three-game series against the struggling Rockies on Friday night.
St. Louis (30-21) has dropped four straight and seven of eight at Colorado (24-25), but Westbrook (4-3, 5.17) will try to start changing that with another dominant effort.
The right-hander scattered four hits in eight innings of Saturday’s 3-0 win at Kansas City, five days after he allowed one run in seven innings of a 3-1 win over Philadelphia. Those solid outings lowered his ERA from 6.92.
“I’m just being more aggressive,” Westbrook said. “Attacking the zone and keeping the ball down. That’s the way I have to pitch. Early in the year, I was getting away from that, not being as focused, and it showed. Right now I’m feeling a lot better about the confidence in my sinker and so I’m just going right after guys.”
Westbrook, though, is getting his first start in Denver after compiling a 1.23 ERA in winning his only two starts against the Rockies.
The Cardinals could benefit from Holliday’s possible return from a quadriceps injury that forced him to miss three games, including Wednesday’s 3-1 loss at San Diego that denied them a sweep of their three-game series.
St. Louis, which has won eight of 10, totaled just seven runs in the three contests without Holliday, who ranks among the NL leaders with a .349 batting average while adding six homers and 31 RBIs.
The left fielder spent his first five seasons with Colorado before being traded to Oakland in 2009. He’s hitting .386 with three home runs and six RBIs against in 12 games versus his former team, while getting all of those homers and RBIs in five meetings at Coors Field while going 8 for 20.
In seven games prior to his injury, Holliday went 2 for 22.
The Rockies are 12-13 at home and under .500 for the first time since losing their season opener to Arizona on April 1. Their 7-17 record for May is the worst in the majors, and Thursday’s 6-3 home defeat to Arizona was their third straight overall.
Jimenez (0-4, 5.44) is still searching for his first win, and the scuffling offense hasn’t helped by averaging 2.82 runs while losing seven of his eight starts.
The struggling ace, a 19-game winner a year ago, was charged with a 3-1 defeat at Milwaukee on Sunday, allowing three runs - two earned - and two hits while walking five in eight innings.
“I’ve been a work in progress,” Jimenez said. “I made a major step, but I still have things to work on.”
The right-hander is 2-1 with a 2.03 ERA in his last four starts against the Cardinals, but is 0-3 with a 7.36 ERA in five home starts.
The Rockies are batting .246 this month, and Troy Tulowitzki(notes) has been a major culprit with a .189 average. The shortstop is in a 2-for-15 slump over the last four games after going 1 for 4 Thursday.
“The thing that I have to do is be very patient of the fact of knowing there’s some very capable offensive players that need to find their way,” manager Jim Tracy said. “I personally feel it takes courage to have patience. They know the program. They have seen it. They’ve got a taste of it.”