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The St. Louis Cardinals could use another productive stretch at

the plate to help them climb into position for a playoff berth.

After breaking out of a slump, the Cardinals will try to keep

their momentum going in Sunday’s series finale against the

Philadelphia Phillies.

St. Louis (62-52) helped its chances of returning to the

postseason by batting .306 and outscoring opponents 105-53 while

winning 13 of 17. The Cardinals, though, couldn’t keep that run

going after Monday’s 8-2 victory over San Francisco and batted .180

with a combined six runs scored while dropping three of their next

four games.

They kept those struggles brief, however, registering 10 hits in

a 4-1 win over the Phillies on Saturday. Matt Holliday led the way

with a three-run homer and Carlos Beltran finished off the scoring

with an eighth-inning single, giving him 17 RBIs in 22 games.

“(Holliday and Beltran) have been carrying the load,” said

manager Mike Matheny, whose team is 2-4 against Philadelphia

heading into the season’s final matchup.

The victory moved the Cardinals within 1 1/2 games of the NL

wild-card leaders, and they’ll try to get closer with help from

Lance Lynn (13-5, 3.52 ERA).

The right-hander is attempting to rebound from his first loss

since June 30. He gave up three runs in the first inning Tuesday en

route to a 4-2 defeat to San Francisco, also his first in six


Lynn has allowed 18 first-inning runs and 53 overall.

“I’m just not getting the guy out when I need to right now,”

Lynn said. “I’ve just got to keep working and trying to get better.

They’re starting to learn what I do. I’ve just got to keep trying

to keep getting better and keep improving.”

In his first start against the Phillies (51-62), Lynn will pitch

opposite Vance Worley (6-7, 3.83), who is coming off his shortest

outing of the season.

While dealing with a stomach ailment, Worley gave up four runs,

six hits and three walks over 3 2-3 innings during a 6-1 loss to

Atlanta on Monday.

“It seemed like every time I went out there and I tried to let

loose today, it didn’t go where I wanted it. Neither did my

stomach. I went out there with heart today,” he told the team’s


The right-hander did not get a decision in his only start

against St. Louis on Sept. 16 despite giving up only one run over

six innings.

Beltran is the only current Cardinals player with more than one

hit against Worley, going 2 for 9 with one double and three walks

versus the right-hander.

Nate Schierholtz is the only Phillies hitter to have faced Lynn

and has gone 0 for 2.