Brewers-Cardinals Preview

The Associated Press

The St. Louis Cardinals are riding a winning streak on the strength of dominant starting pitching - and that's without their staff ace even taking the mound.

Adam Wainwright will try to help deliver a fourth straight victory for St. Louis on Saturday as he takes the ball against the struggling Milwaukee Brewers at Busch Stadium.

The Cardinals (6-4) have seen their starters string together solid outings while picking up three straight wins. The trio of Lance Lynn, Jake Westbrook and Shelby Miller have combined to allow one run and 10 hits in 22 innings while striking out 21.

Miller, a 22-year-old rookie, threw seven innings of one-hit ball in Friday's 2-0 win.

"He was impressive," closer Mitchell Boggs said of Miller. "He's been impressive since he got to St. Louis, so I don't think anybody's surprised by what he's doing."

Things don't figure to get any easier for Milwaukee (2-7) against Wainwright (1-1, 3.46 ERA). He's been dominant over 17 career starts in the series, going 8-6 with a 2.15 ERA, though he had lost three straight versus the Brewers before tossing a five-hitter on Aug. 4.

The right-hander yielded two runs and seven hits over seven innings in a 14-3 victory over San Francisco on Sunday.

"My stuff was great," Wainwright told the team's official website. "My arm is feeling as good as it ever has."

Milwaukee also got a strong start Friday as former Cardinal Kyle Lohse went seven innings while allowing two runs and six hits. It just wasn't up to par with Miller's performance.

"It's a shame you get those kind of outings and sometimes you just don't score," manager Ron Roenicke said.

The Brewers, who have lost seven of eight since an opening day victory, will hope for better luck from scheduled starter Yovani Gallardo (0-0, 5.73). St. Louis has historically given him trouble, as he's 1-9 with a 6.72 ERA in his 14 career starts against the Cardinals. His only victory came at Busch Stadium on May 7, 2011.

St. Louis center fielder John Jay is off to a slow start, batting .217, but he's 7 for 16 (.438) with a homer against Gallardo since 2011.

One sign that Gallardo may not be right is a lack of strikeouts. The right-hander has only fanned six through 11 innings, not near the pace he's been at while striking out 200 or more in each of the last four seasons. Gallardo averages 9.1 strikeouts per nine innings for his career.

Though Milwaukee managed a season-low two hits Friday, one came from Norichika Aoki, who has hit safely in six straight games. He's 12 for 25 over that stretch and batting .385 on the season.

Wainwright has generally gotten the best of Ryan Braun, as the Milwaukee slugger is 9 for 46 (.196) with 10 strikeouts.

Yadier Molina, who homered Friday, has two or more hits in four of his last six games against the Brewers, going 10 for 24 (.417) over that stretch. He is 3 for 13 versus Gallardo since 2011.

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