Brewers-Cardinals Preview

The Associated Press

After getting uneven results from their lineup during a six-game road trip, the St. Louis Cardinals are hoping to continue putting up big numbers at home.

The Cardinals will go for their fifth straight win at Busch Stadium on Saturday night when they continue their series against the Milwaukee Brewers.

St. Louis opened a seven-game homestand with a 9-3 win over Milwaukee on Friday.

Yadier Molina had his fourth straight multihit game as he went 3 for 4, scored twice and stole two bases after missing the previous game with a sprained thumb. Daniel Descalso and David Freese each drove in two runs.

The Cardinals (57-49) had just completed a 3-3 road trip. While they scored two runs in each of the three losses, they plated at least nine in each of the wins.

The offense has been more consistent at home of late. St. Louis is 13-3 at Busch Stadium since the start of July, hitting .302 while averaging 5.6 runs. The Cardinals have scored at least seven runs three times during their current four-game win streak at home.

Matt Holliday, who had two hits Friday and has reached base safely in 29 straight games, is batting .459 with seven homers and 21 RBIs in his last 20 home games. Freese has hit .489 in 14 games at Busch Stadium since July 1.

While St. Louis sits eight games behind red-hot Cincinnati for the NL Central lead, it is only 3 1/2 back in the wild-card race - a deficit it will try to close during this homestand.

"In here, we can control what we do," manager Mike Matheny told the Cardinals' official website. "Do we aim to win this division? Absolutely. Do we start listening to the numbers and what everybody says we can't do? I absolutely hope not."

Matheny did get a bit of bad news Friday, with Lance Berkman going on the disabled list for the third time this season due to knee inflammation. The veteran first baseman had knee surgery in late May but has yet to fully heal.

"It just needs to get stronger," said Berkman, hitting .267 in 28 games. "It's been frustrating."

The Brewers (48-57) remain frustrated away from home, losing seven consecutive road games. They haven't dropped eight straight since a nine-game skid in 2008.

Ryan Braun went 3 for 5 on Friday and is hitting .400 over the last nine games with three homers and four doubles. Braun, though, has only four hits in his last 26 at-bats against Adam Wainwright (8-10, 4.24 ERA), who starts for St. Louis on Saturday.

Wainwright has lost both of his outings versus the Brewers this year but hasn't allowed more than three earned runs in 10 straight starts against them, posting a 1.58 ERA with a 5-4 record.

The right-hander has yielded two runs or fewer in six of his past seven home starts, including Sunday when he gave up a pair in six innings of a 4-2, 10-inning defeat to Chicago.

Milwaukee will give Mark Rogers (0-0, 3.18) another start. He performed well Sunday in his first appearance in the majors since 2010, giving up two runs in 5 2-3 innings of an 11-10 loss in 11 innings to Washington.

The right-hander was the fifth pick in the June 2004 free agent draft but had pitched only 10 innings in the majors before replacing Zack Greinke in the Brewers' rotation.

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