Dodgers-Cardinals Preview

BY foxsports • July 25, 2012

(AP) -- The St. Louis Cardinals snapped a lengthy skid to the Los Angeles Dodgers with help from a solid pitching performance. They could get another such effort in their next game against the Dodgers.

Kyle Lohse will try to add to the Cardinals' recent success at home by earning a fifth consecutive win Wednesday night.

The Dodgers (53-45) scored 33 runs during a run of five straight victories but could push across only two while having their eight-game win streak in the series snapped with Tuesday's 8-2 defeat.

Rafael Furcal matched a season high with three RBIs and Allen Craig doubled in a pair during a six-run sixth for St. Louis.

The Cardinals (51-46) will now try to improve to 5-1 on their seven-game homestand and earn an 11th win in 14 games at Busch Stadium behind Lohse (10-2, 2.71 ERA).

The right-hander hasn't given up more than two runs in any of his last six starts, going 4-0 with a 2.16 ERA, and is 5-1 with a 2.02 ERA in his last nine.

He's also won three straight outings at home, including a 4-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Friday. Lohse gave up one run and six hits over seven innings to outduel NL ERA leader Ryan Dempster in that win.

The right-hander gave up a season-high 11 hits to the Dodgers on May 20 in California but allowed just three runs over 5 2-3 innings during a 6-5 loss for the Cardinals.

"It was a weird, weird outing," Lohse told the team's website. "There wasn't a whole lot of really hard contact. Ground balls were just out of somebody's reach."

He was tagged for eight runs over three innings during his most recent matchup at Busch Stadium, a 13-2 loss Aug. 23.

Lohse opposes former teammate Aaron Harang (7-5, 3.46), who is 2-0 with a 2.37 ERA in three starts this month. The two played together in Cincinnati for portions of the 2006 and 2007 seasons.

Harang allowed three runs - one earned - and four hits over five innings in his latest start, a 7-6 win over the New York Mets on Friday.

"I just grinded it out the last few innings," he told the team's website.

The veteran right-hander is 0-4 with a 3.94 ERA in his last five starts against the Cardinals, but he's gotten a combined five runs of support in those games.

Harang allowed two runs over seven innings and fanned seven in his most recent matchup May 24, 2011, but did not get a decision in a 3-2 loss for San Diego.

In this game, Harang might not have to face Lance Berkman, who has the most career home runs off the right-hander with seven. The Cardinals first baseman was hit by a pitch on his surgically repaired right knee Tuesday and left the game in the third inning.

"It's a bad bruise in a bad spot, unfortunately. I've already had a lot of trauma to that joint and didn't really need any more. But unfortunately I got some," he told the team's website.

Former Cardinal Adam Kennedy, day to day after tweaking his groin Tuesday, is 15 for 37 (.405) lifetime against Lohse.