Cardinals-Brewers Preview

Mike Matheny is giving Jake Westbrook another chance to remain

in the St. Louis Cardinals’ starting rotation.

In danger of losing five straight starts for the first time in

more than eight years, the right-hander tries to put an end to his

woes in Wednesday’s finale against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller


Westbrook (7-8, 4.35 ERA) is doing all he can to end a stretch

in which he’s 0-4 with a 10.13 ERA, having allowed 29 hits, walked

15 and struck out 10 in 21 1-3 innings.

“It’s always frustrating when you don’t give your team a chance

to win and do your job, which I haven’t been able to do the last

couple outings,” said Westbrook, who dropped his first five starts

in 2005.

He gave up seven runs and walked five Friday in 6 2-3 innings of

a 7-0 road loss to the Chicago Cubs, but that was not enough for

Matheny to pull him from the rotation.

“I know it’s frustrating to him and baffling to us on how to put

that all together,” Matheny told the Cardinals’ official website.

“He said, physically, he feels good.

“It’s just quality pitches right from the get-go. The guy is

such a pro, and he’s going through a thousand different things in

his mind of what he can do differently.”

Westbrook was solid at Milwaukee on May 2 when he allowed a run,

six hits and walked three in six innings of a 6-5 victory.

He hopes to help wild-card-leading St. Louis (72-53) get back on

track after its three-game winning streak ended with a 6-3 loss at

Milwaukee on Tuesday. Rookie Kolten Wong had three hits and Yadier

Molina hit a two-run homer, but the Brewers (55-71) scored five

times in the fourth to erase a 3-0 deficit.

“I know we have a stretch here where we’re playing a lot of

teams that are contending for playoff spots,” winning pitcher and

ex-Cardinal Kyle Lohse said. “Feels good to kind of hurt teams’


After going 0 for 5 on Thursday in his return from missing two

weeks with a sprained knee, Molina is 10 for 18 with five doubles

and two homers to raise his average to an NL-leading .336.

He’s batted .417 with two home runs and nine RBIs during a

12-game hitting streak against the Brewers this season.

Wong went 0 for 8 in his first three games since making his

much-anticipated major league debut Friday, but is 5 for 10 in the

last two.

Teammate Matt Holliday has followed a 12-game hitting streak by

going 1 for 19 through the first five of this six-game trip.

However, he’s 5 for 10 with a homer against Milwaukee starter Tom

Gorzelanny (3-4, 2.95).

After he gave up three hits in seven innings of a 10-0 victory

at Seattle on Aug. 10, the left-hander allowed five runs and two

homers in 4 2-3 innings Friday in a 7-6 win over Cincinnati.

Gorzelanny has a 3.60 ERA in five relief appearances this season

against the Cardinals, but has not faced them as a starter since

2011. He’s 2-5 with a 4.85 ERA in nine starts versus St. Louis.

Rookie first baseman Sean Halton had two hits with three RBIs on

Tuesday for the Brewers, who snapped a five-game home skid to St.


Halton was 0 for 10 with five strikeouts in his previous eight


Milwaukee All-Star Carlos Gomez could miss a sixth straight game

with a knee injury.