Cardinals hungry to chip away at Brewers’ lead
The St. Louis Cardinals will try to tighten the National League Central race when they host the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday to open a three-game series.
Despite completing a 6-0 road trip through Pittsburgh and Kansas City, the third-place Cardinals remain 10 games back of the first-place Brewers. But they have 13 games remaining against them this season.
“It’s going to be a battle, but we’re playing good baseball and we’re confident in what we have and what we can do,” said Cardinals third baseman Nolan Arenado, who hit three homers and drove in nine runs over the weekend against the Royals. “We’re excited for that series.”
The Brewers and Cardinals have split the first six games this season.
The Brewers are 6-1 on their current 10-game road trip. They swept four games from the Chicago Cubs, then took two of three from the Pittsburgh Pirates.
“Any team that’s not in first in the division is going to be looking to play that first-place team to get some games back,” Brewers pitcher Eric Lauer said. “That’s kind of where they’re at, and we’re trying to make sure teams don’t catch up.”
The Brewers will open this series at Busch Stadium with Corbin Burnes (7-4, 2.23 ERA) on the mound. He has allowed either one run or no runs in seven of his last eight starts.
He struck out 10 consecutive batters in his last start, a 10-0 victory over the Cubs.
“It was dominant,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “The first four innings were as good as anybody has pitched in a game. Like, not just this year, but for a long time. It was fun to watch.”
Burnes is 0-1 with a 0.82 ERA in two starts against the Cardinals this season. He allowed just one run on six hits in 11 innings in those games. In his career, Burnes is 1-3 with a 4.40 ERA in nine appearances against the Cardinals, including six starts.
Paul Goldschmidt (6-for-13, double, homer, two RBIs), Nolan Arenado (2-for-6, RBI), Matt Carpenter (4-for-13, double, two homers) and Paul DeJong (4-for-13, double, homer, four RBIs) have hit well against Burnes.
But DeJong (back strain) and outfielder Dylan Carlson (sore wrist) are questionable for this series.
Cardinals starting Adam Wainwright (11-6, 3.27 ERA) is coming off of his two-hitter against the Pirates. He blanked them 4-0 while striking out seven batters and walking nobody during his complete game.
He has allowed two runs or fewer in four of his last five starts. Wainwright faced the Brewers once earlier this season, holding them to one run in five innings in a no decision back on April 8.
Wainwright is 18-11 with a 2.48 ERA against the Brewers in 45 career appearances, including 38 starts. Christian Yelich (6-for-19, six walks), Avisail Garcia (3-for-7) have hit him well while Jace Peterson (1-for-11) has not.
The Cardinals have scored four or more runs in 11 consecutive games. They are five games over .500 for the first time since June 3.
“We’re ready for Tuesday, I can tell you that,” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said.
–Field Level Media