A seemingly favorable schedule combined with a key injury to an
NL Central rival may be just what the St. Louis Cardinals need to
gain ground in the standings.
After sparking a ninth-inning rally, Matt Holliday looks to
continue his hot stretch at the plate and help the Cardinals
maintain their dominance of the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday
St. Louis (47-43) is third in the Central and 3 1-2 games behind
first-place Cincinnati, which lost All-Star first baseman Joey
Votto for at least three weeks with a knee injury Monday.
That could present the Cardinals with a chance to close in on
first place, and a series against Milwaukee (42-47) may improve
St. Louis has won 15 of 20 against the Brewers, taking last
year’s NL championship series in six games. They have won eight of
10 at Miller Park, averaging 7.1 runs while batting .298 with 19
The Cardinals continued that success against the Brewers with a
3-2 victory Monday, scoring three times in the ninth off closer
Holliday triggered the comeback with a tying two-run single and
Allen Craig followed by driving in the go-ahead run after St. Louis
was swept in three straight at Cincinnati over the weekend.
“We have to hit like we are capable of,” Holliday said. “We’ve
got to start playing well and beating the teams in our division and
Holliday is doing his part, hitting .439 with 12 doubles and 24
RBIs in his last 25 games. The six-time All-Star has a team
season-high 15-game hitting streak and is 10 for 30 with six RBIs
in his last seven visits to Miller Park, including three during the
The Cardinals are scheduled to turn to Joe Kelly (1-1, 2.70
ERA), who hasn’t allowed more than three runs in any of his six
starts since being recalled from Triple-A Memphis last month.
The rookie right-hander struggled with his command early in his
most recent outing July 8 before the Cardinals rallied with three
runs in the ninth to beat Miami 5-4. He threw 10 of his first 18
pitches for balls before settling down and allowing one unearned
run and two hits with a season-high five walks in six innings.
Monday’s loss was another setback for the Brewers, who announced
earlier in the day that Zack Greinke will skip his scheduled start
Wednesday and isn’t scheduled to pitch again until July 24 at
The Brewers are scheduled to give the ball to Randy Wolf (2-6,
5.80), who hasn’t won since beating San Diego on April 30. He’s 0-4
with a 5.42 ERA in 13 games – 12 starts – since that victory.
The left-hander has been particularly bad over his last four
starts, compiling an 8.34 ERA while yielding seven homers in 22 2-3
Wolf’s most recent appearance came out of the bullpen July 7,
when he allowed one run and three hits in two innings at
He’s won four of his last six starts against St. Louis behind a
4.15 ERA, including a road victory in Game 4 of last year’s