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Adam Wainwright has been stuck on 13 wins for nearly a month, but he should have a strong chance of picking up No. 14 when his St. Louis Cardinals take on the struggling Chicago Cubs on Sunday. The visiting Cardinals shut out the Cubs on Saturday, the fifth time Chicago has been blanked in its last seven home games. The win gave St. Louis a one-game advantage over Cincinnati for the top wild-card spot and pulled it within two games of National League Central leader Pittsburgh.As if things haven't been bad enough for the Cubs, shortstop Starlin Castro was benched Saturday after his mental lapse turned a popout to shallow left field into a sacrifice fly, and manager Dale Sveum was unsure whether Castro would be back in the lineup Sunday. "I knew the outs and everything, but I put my head down and made a mental mistake," Castro told reporters. "I don't want to make any excuses for that." The Cardinals lead the season series 8-7.
TV: 2:20 p.m. ET, FSN Midwest (St. Louis), WGN (Chicago)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Cardinals RH Adam Wainwright (13-7, 2.71 ERA) vs. Cubs RH Edwin Jackson (7-12, 5.05)
Wainwright is winless in his last four outings despite going seven innings in each and recording quality starts in three of them. The 31-year-old ace gave up two early homers in his last start against Pittsburgh before settling in to keep the Cardinals in it, a game they eventually won in 14 innings. Wainwright is 6-6 with a 4.57 ERA in 29 games (20 starts) versus the Cubs and is winless in his last six starts against them.
After an outstanding July, Jackson has struggled in his two starts this month, allowing 11 runs in 10 innings. He didn't get a decision last time out against the Cardinals but gave up four runs on six hits over five frames. The 29-year-old is 2-4 with a 4.45 ERA in 10 games (nine starts) versus his former team, including a 1-1 mark this year.
1. Cardinals C Yadier Molina, who homered Saturday, is 9-for-18 with three home runs against Jackson.
2. Cubs OF David DeJesus is 9-for-23 with three doubles, a triple and two homers against Wainwright.
3. The Cubs are hitting .197 with eight extra-base hits over their past seven home contests.
PREDICTION: Cardinals 6, Cubs 2