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(AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals are still struggling to score runs, but at least they have something positive to build on.
After another stellar outing from budding star Lance Lynn, veteran Jake Westbrook tries for his first win in a more than a month when the Cardinals conclude their home series with the AL Central-leading Chicago White Sox on Thursday night.
Less than an hour after the New York Mets’ R.A. Dickey became the majors’ first 10-game winner, Lynn won his 10th by allowing three hits and striking out a career-high 12 in 7 1-3 innings of a 1-0 victory over Chicago on Wednesday.
Though St. Louis (32-31) avoided a third consecutive loss, it has scored one run in three straight games and no more than two in each of the last five. Carlos Beltran had three of the Cardinals’ four hits, including his NL-leading 19th homer off Jake Peavy in the third inning.
Beltran is 12 for 26 (.462) with four home runs and five RBIs in his last seven games.
St. Louis is averaging only 2.03 runs of support for Westbrook (4-6, 4.25 ERA) while he’s gone 0-4 with a 7.55 ERA in six outings since winning at Arizona on May 8. The right-hander gave up four runs in six innings of a 6-2 loss to Cleveland on Friday.
“I did figure some things out and we’ll move forward,” he said. “I felt like I got better compared to my previous four or five.”
Westbrook, who spent most of his first 10 seasons with the Indians, is 0-5 with a 5.87 ERA in eight starts against the White Sox (34-28) since beating them Aug. 7, 2007. He has not faced Chicago since 2010.
He hopes his teammates can add to the struggles of scheduled White Sox starter Gavin Floyd (4-6, 5.38), who remains in the rotation despite going 1-3 with a 10.52 ERA in his last five starts. The right-hander allowed four runs and two homers while striking out nine in six innings of an 8-3 loss to Houston on Friday.
“I’m trying to take the positives,” Floyd told the White Sox’s official website. “I felt good. Just kind of continue on, work on it, keep on battling and look six days from now.”
Though Floyd might feel like he’s about to turn things around, he’s still allowed 10 of his 14 home runs over the last five starts.
“It’s location. Maybe the count, you fall behind,” Chicago manager Robin Ventura said. “You give a guy the ability to sit on it and go after a fastball and it’s going to happen. It’s just his location needs to be better when they’re in hitter’s counts.”
Floyd kept the ball in the park when he gave up a run and three hits in seven innings of a 10-4 win in his only previous outing versus St. Louis on April 9, 2005, while with Philadelphia.
The White Sox managed five hits Wednesday without slugger Adam Dunn in the lineup. Dunn, who has 21 home runs and 47 RBIs, was scratched from the starting lineup because of a mild ankle sprain but hit into an inning-ending double play in the eighth.
He is 2 for 9 with four strikeouts against Westbrook.