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AP - Sports

It's taken only 10 days for the St. Louis Cardinals to trim 3 1/2 games off their NL Central deficit, and they're gaining even more confidence as the All-Star break approaches following back-to-back dramatic victories.

St. Louis sends Lance Lynn to the mound Wednesday night as it looks to take the first three of a four-game series with the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates.

Matt Adams' two-run homer in the ninth inning gave the Cardinals (49-42) a 2-0 victory in Monday's series opener, and rookie Kolten Wong delivered a walkoff solo blast Tuesday for a 5-4 win.

It marked the first time since Albert Pujols homered on consecutive days against the Chicago Cubs in June 2011 that St. Louis had back-to-back game-winning homers.

Wong also had a two-run double for the defending NL champions, who now trail struggling Milwaukee by three games for the division lead.

Lynn (9-6, 3.17 ERA) will look to help keep the Cardinals rolling as he seeks a second straight solid start.

The right-hander gave up seven runs and nine hits in two innings of a 9-1 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 28, but he bounced back Friday and struck out six in 6 2-3 scoreless innings of a 3-2 win over Miami.

Lynn said the callous on his finger that bothered him against the Dodgers wasn't an issue in his last outing.

''It's just part of pitching,'' Lynn said. ''When it was all said and done, I had a really good sinker. When I have that, we're going to use it.''

Lynn didn't have his best stuff against the Pirates on May 10, allowing four runs and nine hits in six innings of a 4-3 loss. He's 0-3 with a 9.15 ERA in his last four starts against Pittsburgh, including a loss in Game 2 of last season's Division Series.

Andrew McCutchen is 5 for 29 (.172) with 11 strikeouts against Lynn including the playoffs, but he hit a two-run homer Tuesday and is batting .414 with two home runs and eight RBIs over his last seven games.

The Pirates (47-43), who are 1 1/2 games behind the second-place Cardinals, had won 12 of 15 before arriving in St. Louis.

''It's not the first time we've had two tough losses and it probably isn't going to be the last time this year,'' manager Clint Hurdle said. ''That's what makes the season so interesting. "(We'll) shower up and get ready to play again tomorrow.''

Pittsburgh hoped to have Gerrit Cole on the mound, but he will be placed on the disabled list before the game with tightness in his lat muscle.

Instead, Brandon Cumpton will be called up from Triple-A to make the start. Cumpton had the worst start of his career while allowing 11 runs in a loss to the Dodgers on May 31, but he went 3-0 with a 2.97 ERA in his next five.

The right-hander most recently gave up two runs in seven innings of a 3-2, 11-inning win over the New York Mets on June 27, but he was optioned to the minors the next day. That move was made for the return of Cole, who was on the DL with right shoulder fatigue.

Cumpton (3-2, 4.61) earned his first career victory July 30 against the Cardinals, allowing three hits in seven innings to win 6-0.

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