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Sat, Apr 14, 2012 - 1:05 PM ET
 

Cubs-Cardinals Preview

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With one of their aces beginning the season on the disabled list, the St. Louis Cardinals looked to Lance Lynn to solidify their rotation.

A day after the club's other star pitcher had one of the worst outings of his career, the Cardinals hope Lynn can replicate his impressive performance from his 2012 debut.

The Chicago Cubs ruined their archrival's home opener and would love to send St. Louis to a third straight defeat as their series continues Saturday.

Chris Carpenter's shoulder problem created a void in the Cardinals' rotation, but Lynn may be a great option to fill it based on his first start of the season.

The 24-year-old right-hander allowed one run, two hits and one walk while striking out eight in 6 2-3 innings of a 9-3 win at Milwaukee on Sunday.

"It's still early, so hopefully I can build off what I did today and keep pitching well," Lynn said. "Hopefully it gives us confidence that with Carp out for the time that he's out, we can still win ballgames, and they have confidence in me."

As a rookie last year, Lynn fanned 40 in 34 2-3 innings while making 18 appearances - two starts - and posting a 3.12 ERA. That doesn't include the postseason, during which Lynn picked up a pair of wins in 10 mostly sharp outings out of the bullpen.

In his only previous appearance against the Cubs, Lynn retired all six batters he faced in relief during a 13-5 win July 30.

Adam Wainwright had a much tougher time with Chicago on Friday. Making his first home start since returning from Tommy John surgery, he yielded eight earned runs - matching a career high - in three innings of a 9-5 defeat.

The reigning World Series champions were honored in a pregame ceremony that included 91-year-old legend Stan Musial, but then dropped their second straight following a 5-1 start. The Cardinals haven't lost three in a row since Aug. 22-24.

They'll receive their 2011 championship rings before Saturday's game.

"The other 29 teams that aren't getting one, you're jealous of the fact somebody else is getting one," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said.

Chicago (3-5) has totaled 17 runs in back-to-back victories after scoring 19 through its first six games. Another win Saturday would match the Cubs' total in St. Louis from nine games there last season.

Bryan LaHair provided the biggest blow Friday with a third-inning grand slam off Wainwright, while Starlin Castro had three hits to increase his average to .355.

Castro, who also stole his sixth base, has an eight-game hitting streak against the Cardinals.

"You can't say enough about our lineup (Friday)," Cubs starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija said after getting credit for the win despite allowing five runs in five innings.

Chris Volstad will take another stab at his first win for the Cubs on Saturday. He didn't factor in Monday's decision after yielding three runs in five innings of a 7-5 loss to Milwaukee.

Volstad pitched a five-hit shutout against the Cardinals in 2010, but has an 8.04 ERA in his other three career starts versus St. Louis, all with Florida. Matt Holliday is 6 for 11 with two doubles off the right-hander while Carlos Beltran is 3 for 6 with two walks.

Lance Berkman homered off Volstad last year at Busch Stadium, but he has missed the last two games with a calf injury and his status remains unclear.

Tagged: Cubs, Cardinals, Chris Volstad

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