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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Monday, May 21st (All times Eastern)

San Diego Padres (16-26) at St. Louis Cardinals (22-19), 8:15 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: San Diego - Clayton Richard (2-5, 4.94) St. Louis - Jaime Garcia (3-2, 3.68)

(Sports Network) - The St. Louis Cardinals won't have much time to dwell on getting swept in Los Angeles and hope a return home will cure their struggling ways. A matchup with the San Diego Padres in the opener of a three-game series from Busch Stadium could help.

The Cardinals will also host Philadelphia for four games on their upcoming homestand and went 1-4 on a five-game trek through San Francisco and Los Angeles. The Dodgers completed a three-game sweep with Sunday's 6-5 win thanks to Scott Van Slyke's pinch-hit three-run homer in the seventh inning. Marc Rzepczynski was saddled with the loss and starter Kyle Lohse did not record a decision after allowing three runs and 11 hits in 5 2/3 innings.

"We just have to keep going out there and find ways to win and ways to get it done, we're not doing that right now," said Lohse. "I feel like I could've pitched better, deeper into the game, so I take that responsibility."

Skip Schumaker had a two-run triple and Rafael Furcal added a pair of RBI for the Cardinals, who have lost four straight and eight of 10 games. The Cardinals also placed first baseman/right fielder Lance Berkman on the 15-day disabled list on Sunday with a right knee injury and recalled first baseman Matt Adams from Triple-A Memphis. Adams went 2-for-4 on Sunday.

The Cardinals, whose lead in the NL Central is now only one-half game ahead of Cincinnati, are hoping Jaime Garcia can win back-to-back starts for the first time this season when he toes the rubber Monday. Garcia ended a four-start winless drought (0-2) his previous time out in a 4-1 win at San Francisco, as he fired 7 1/3 innings of one-run ball and fanned a season-best nine batters.

Garcia, a left-hander, is 3-2 with a 3.68 earned run average in eight starts this season and 1-1 in three outings at home. He has made three career starts against the Padres, going 1-1 with a 3.66 ERA.

San Diego will close out the month of May with a 10-game road trip against the Cardinals, Mets and Cubs. It took two of three meetings from the LA Angels of Anaheim over the weekend and won for the fourth time in six tries with Sunday's 3-2 win in 13 innings at Petco Park.

Will Venable's RBI single in the bottom of the 13th inning plated pinch-hitter Clayton Richard for the game-winning run. Richard is pitching tonight and reached base on a two-out single. Yonder Alonso finished with two hits and a pair of RBI, while Venable had two hits and scored a run for San Diego.

"I was surprised that he made it so far but I was happy to see him cross the plate," Venable said of Richard.

Miles Mikolas pitched two scoreless innings of relief to earn the win and Anthony Bass gave up two runs on five hits in a six-inning start.

The Padres are 4-10 as the visitor this season and hope Richard can string back-to-back wins together this evening. Richard ended a personal five-game losing streak his last time out and was 0-5 in his six previous starts (all losses) before holding the Dodgers to a pair of runs over seven frames in last Wednesday's 4-2 victory at home.

Richard is 2-5 in eight starts to go along with a 4.94 earned run average, but is 0-3 with a 7.99 ERA in four road assignments this season. In three career starts against the Cardinals, the lefty is 2-0 with a 3.45 ERA.

San Diego and St. Louis are meeting for the first time since splitting six matchups a year ago.

05/21 11:06:59 ET