Cardinals-Brewers Preview

The St. Louis Cardinals are again off to a strong start. Based

on Chris Carpenter’s recent outings at Miller Park, that could

continue through Sunday night.

Carpenter will try to add to his 17-inning scoreless streak in

Milwaukee and help the Cardinals to their seventh consecutive road

win over the Brewers.

St. Louis opened last season by winning eight of its first 11 en

route to a Central Division title. In 2008, the Cardinals got off

to an 11-4 start before eventually finishing fourth.

A 7-1 victory the Brewers on Saturday was the Cardinals’ fourth

in five games to open 2010.

St. Louis, batting only .238 this season, had eight hits in the

win but benefited from a pair of timely ones – Yadier Molina’s

three-run homer in the second inning and Albert Pujols’ two-run

single in the fifth.

The Cardinals took Friday’s series opener 5-4 thanks to two-out,

two-run homers from Matt Holliday and pinch-hitter Nick Stavinoha,

who drove in the go-ahead runs in the ninth inning.

Those victories have paved the way for Carpenter (1-0, 3.00 ERA)

to try to help the Cardinals complete consecutive three-game sweeps

at Miller Park.

“It’s very important to win the series and tomorrow we have a

chance to sweep them,” Molina said. “We have Carp on the mound and

everybody knows Carp, he’s a great pitcher.”

Carpenter opened this season by allowing two runs and five hits

over six innings in Monday’s 11-6 win in Cincinnati. In his

previous start in Milwaukee on Sept. 7, he recorded his only

shutout of last season – a one-hitter with 10 strikeouts in a 3-0

victory.

The right-hander was 17-4 with a 2.24 ERA last year, and

finished second in the NL Cy Young Award voting to San Francisco’s

Tim Lincecum.

Carpenter, who also beat the Brewers in St. Louis on Sept. 2,

did not get a decision in Milwaukee on May 25 despite allowing two

hits over eight innings. Instead, a two-out single from Bill Hall

in the 10th gave the Brewers a 1-0 victory.

Since then, Milwaukee (2-3) has dropped nine of 10 at home to

the Cardinals. The Brewers have been outscored 12-5 in the first

two games of this series and have batted .177.

Milwaukee, also hitting .238 overall, will likely need to give

left-hander Randy Wolf (1-0, 5.40) a little more support. The

Brewers had four hits Saturday including two from Corey Hart in his

second start this season.

“That was very encouraging,” manager Ken Macha told the team’s

Web site. “I was looking at how the thing go the next three or four

games, and he’s got a chance he’s going to be in there

(Sunday).”

Wolf, 0-2 with a 3.57 ERA in his last three starts versus the

Cardinals, allowed two runs over six innings in his only outing

against them last season for the Los Angeles Dodgers but was

outdueled by Carpenter in a 6-1 defeat on July 27.

Wolf, who hasn’t earned a win over St. Louis since May 16, 2007,

got five runs of support in his Brewers debut – Tuesday’s 7-5 win

over visiting Colorado. He allowed four runs and nine hits over 6

2-3 innings, but also struck out eight and walked none.