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The St. Louis Cardinals attempt to maintain at least a share of first place in the National League Central as they kick off their final road trip of the season against the Colorado Rockies on Monday. St. Louis begins its seven-game trek even with the Pittsburgh Pirates atop the division with 13 contests remaining. The Cardinals visit the Rockies for four games before heading to Milwaukee for a three-game set.
St. Louis made it seven wins in nine games with a 12-2 triumph over the Seattle Mariners on Sunday. Yadier Molina led a 19-hit attack by going 4-for-5 with a solo homer and Matt Adams added a two-run blast as five different Cardinals registered two RBIs. Colorado returns from a 2-7 road trip to begin the final homestand in the career of Todd Helton, who on Saturday announced he will retire at the end of the season.
TV: 8:40 p.m. ET, FSN Midwest (St. Louis), ROOT (Colorado)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Cardinals RH Lance Lynn (13-10, 4.23 ERA) vs. Rockies RH Collin McHugh (0-2, 10.50)
Lynn pitched well enough Wednesday to end his six-start winless streak, allowing just an unearned run while striking out 10 in six innings against Milwaukee, but settled for a no-decision. The 26-year-old went 0-5 over his six prior outings and surrendered at least four runs in each of the previous five turns. Lynn yielded just two runs over 12 frames while going 1-0 in two career starts against Colorado.
McHugh makes his second start for the Rockies in place of Jorge De La Rosa, who is bothered by a sore left thumb. The 26-year-old McHugh made his debut with Colorado on July 27, when he was tagged for six runs in five innings of a loss to Milwaukee. He lost his only career outing against the Cardinals and is 0-6 with an 8.64 ERA in 12 major-league games, including six starts.
1. Colorado RF Michael Cuddyer (.332) did not play Sunday but maintained his slim lead over Atlanta's Chris Johnson (.330) in the NL batting race.
2. Cardinals 1B Allen Craig is expected to remain in St. Louis as he continues to recover from a sprained left foot.
3. The Rockies were outscored 22-11 while losing two of three at Arizona over the weekend.
PREDICTION: Cardinals 11, Rockies 5