Brewers-Cardinals Preview

The St. Louis Cardinals have given their outstanding rotation

the best run support in the NL, though no starter has benefited

from that production more than Lance Lynn.

With the right-hander going for his seventh win, the Cardinals

look to keep rolling Saturday night at Busch Stadium against a

Milwaukee Brewers team they’ve dominated this season.

St. Louis improved to 6-2 on a 10-game homestand by holding on

for a 7-6 victory over Milwaukee in Friday’s series opener, as

David Freese’s grand slam – his first homer of the season – capped

a five-run first inning.

“That’s the biggest thing about this, you want to join the

fun,” said Freese, who entered the contest with a .209 average,

four RBIs and a .287 on-base percentage. ”Fortunately enough, I

haven’t done squat this year and we’ve got a heck of a

record.”

The Cardinals (27-14), who have won 13 of 16 and own the best

record in the majors, have given their starters the most runs in

the league with 162. They’ve also scored 49 runs for their starters

and batted .300 with nine homers while winning seven of eight

against the Brewers (16-24).

Allen Craig went 3 for 3 Friday and is hitting .406 versus

Milwaukee this year, while John Jay (12 for 29), Matt Holliday (10

for 28) and Yadier Molina (11 for 31) have also done damage in the

season series.

Holliday (6 for 12) and Molina (8 for 15) have also had success

against Saturday’s scheduled starter Marco Estrada.

Lynn is receiving a league-high 7.02 runs per game, but he may

not need much support with the way he’s pitched lately.

He has gone at least seven innings in each of his last five

outings, posting a 1.80 ERA with 37 strikeouts over 35 innings in

that span. Lynn overcame a career-high five walks by striking out

seven and surrendering three runs and four hits over seven innings

in a 6-3 win over the New York Mets on Monday.

Lynn has allowed two runs with 18 strikeouts over 13 2-3 innings

in two career starts against the Brewers.

Unlike the Cardinals, Milwaukee starters have struggled with a

6.78 ERA during the team’s 2-13 stretch.

Estrada (3-2, 5.32) will try to prevent the Brewers from their

second five-game skid this month and third this season. He allowed

one run and a season-low three hits over seven innings in a 5-1 win

at Pittsburgh on Monday.

Estrada, who is 0-3 with a 6.75 ERA in four career starts

against the Cardinals, was tagged for eight runs with five walks

over 3 1-3 innings in a 10-1 loss to St. Louis in his previous

outing.

Milwaukee hopes Aramis Ramirez can find a groove after breaking

out of a 1-for-16 slump with a pair of homers and six RBIs

Friday.

”Nice to see Rammy get a couple,” manager Ron Roenicke said.

”I think he’s been swinging the ball really well and hasn’t had

much to show for it.”

Ramirez, though, is 0 for 6 with three strikeouts all-time

against Lynn.