Matt Adams has homered in each game since coming off the disabled list, keeping the St. Louis Cardinals surging.
The New York Mets are just trying to win back-to-back games.
Adams has a chance to become the first Cardinal in three years to homer in four straight games Monday night, when St. Louis attempts to capitalize on a three-game series with the scuffling Mets.
After missing 13 games with tightness in his left calf, Adams has returned in impressive fashion, going 4 for 11 (.364) with four RBIs while helping the Cardinals (37-32) to a three-game sweep of Washington.
The first baseman homered in each of those games, doubling his season total. He’s bidding to become the first Cardinal to homer in four straight games since Albert Pujols did it from June 3-7, 2011.
Adams is also batting .412 with 10 RBIs over his last 15 games, with St. Louis winning 11 of them.
The Cardinals are collectively enjoying a power surge, hitting eight homers during a 6-1 stretch to come one short of their total over the previous 26 games. Their 40 homers are the fewest in the NL, and Adams and Holliday got one each to spur Sunday’s 5-2 win over the Nationals.
"We’ve been saying for months now these guys have done that," manager Mike Matheny said. "It’s not a surprise. It’s not like these guys have never hit any home runs in their lives. I think that everybody just thought that we were either brainwashing them not to hit home runs or else they all lost it collectively and both of them are ridiculous."
Adams, though, is 5 for 26 in 12 career meetings with the Mets (31-38), but St. Louis has won 12 of the past 16 home matchups thanks partly to a .299 batting average.
New York has managed to score five or more runs twice while losing nine of 12. Though the offense batted .228 over the weekend, the staff’s 2.67 ERA helped the Mets take two of three from San Diego after Sunday’s 3-1 victory.
The Mets went 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position, and are hitting .155 in that scenario over the past 12 games.
"We had opportunities to blow this game open," manager Terry Collins said. "We have to start blowing some games open because it’s going to take a lot of pressure off a lot of people."
One of those people may be rookie Jacob deGrom (0-3, 3.44 ERA), who is getting his seventh attempt at his first career win. He’s been backed by 11 total runs, getting two or fewer in five of his outings.
That happened again Wednesday, when the right-hander yielded three runs in 5 2-3 innings of a 3-1 loss to Milwaukee.
"One of these days we are going to get that big hit for him and he’ll get that win," Collins said.
The Mets are catching a break since they won’t be facing Cardinals ace and nine-game winner Adam Wainwright, who is sidelined with tendinitis in his right elbow. He’s won his last two starts against them while tossing 14 consecutive scoreless innings.
Carlos Martinez (0-3, 4.67) gets the nod in his place and will make his second major league start. He surrendered four runs in 4 2-3 innings of a 5-1 defeat to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Aug. 8.
The right-hander has pitched 1 1-3 scoreless innings of relief over two meetings with New York, striking out three.