National League Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, July 29th (All times eastern)
St. Louis Cardinals (54-47) at Chicago Cubs (41-58), 2:20 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: St. Louis - Adam Wainwright (8-10, 4.31) Chicago - Paul Maholm (9-6, 3.88)
(Sports Network) - Paul Maholm aims to win his career-best sixth consecutive decision when the Chicago Cubs tangle with the St. Louis Cardinals in the rubber match of a three-game series.
The five-game winning streak is already a career-high for Maholm, who is actually unbeaten in his last six games, including five starts. During that time, the lefty has a 0.94 ERA, allowing four earned runs over 38 1/3 innings. His last defeat came June 23 at Arizona.
Over his career against St. Louis, Maholm is 4-7 with a 4.24 ERA in 17 starts. That includes an 0-1 ledger this season with a 9.00 ERA in two starts.
Adam Wainwright tries to win back-to-back starts for the first time since late May as he gets the ball for the Cardinals. The righty threw 7 1/3 frames in an 8-2 victory over the Dodgers on Tuesday.
He sports a 6-5 mark with a 4.50 ERA in 25 games (16 starts) versus the Cubs, but has been awesome at Wrigley Field with a 5-0 mark to go with an 3.67 ERA in seven career starts (12 appearances). Only three pitchers hold a perfect 6-0 career mark at Wrigley: Ron Perranoski, Vide Blue and Bobby J. Jones.
Yesterday, Tony Campana scored the go-ahead run on a Reed Johnson bunt in the bottom of the seventh inning, and the Cubs held on for a 3-2 win. Alfonso Soriano hit a two-run triple in the first for Chicago, which snapped a two- game slide.
Daniel Descalso lofted a game-tying sacrifice fly in the sixth for the Cardinals, who were looking to match a season high with their fifth straight win.
Both starters overcame shaky first innings and turned in quality outings.
Chicago's Jeff Samardzija walked the bases loaded to begin the game, but limited the damage to a Carlos Beltran run-scoring fielder's choice.
"Anytime you have bases loaded no outs, you're hoping to come away with more than one run," Descalso said.
"I really like how we're playing baseball right now," Samardzija said. "It's fun to come to the park."
The Cardinals outscored the Cubs 23-1 in sweeping last weekend's three-game series and are 8-5 against Chicago this season.
07/29 10:22:48 ET