St. Louis Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright looks to get back on track when he leads his team into the rubber match of a three-game series at the Chicago Cubs on Sunday. Wainwright came out of the All-Star break with a difficult start against the Tampa Bay Rays, allowing six runs (four earned) in only 4 2/3 innings on Tuesday. In addition, he will be returning to Wrigley Field, where he gave up six runs and a season-high 10 hits in five frames to get the loss May 2.
The Cardinals used four RBIs from Matt Adams to snap a season-long four-game skid with a 6-3 win Saturday. The victory kept them within three games of first-place Milwaukee in the National League Central. The Cubs have dropped 14 of 18 games, scoring three runs or fewer 10 times in that stretch.
TV: 2:20 p.m. ET, FSN Midwest (St. Louis), WCIU (Chicago)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Cardinals RH Adam Wainwright (12-5, 2.02 ERA) vs. Cubs RH Kyle Hendricks (1-0, 2.77)
Wainwright's first start after the All-Star break snapped a string of seven straight outings in which he had thrown at least seven innings and allowed two or fewer runs. The 32-year-old has a 4.44 ERA in 34 career games against the Cubs, his highest mark against any National League team except the New York Mets (5.13). He has gone eight starts in a row spanning 57 1/3 innings without allowing a home run.
Hendricks followed up a so-so major-league debut at Cincinnati on July 10 with a sparkling home debut Tuesday against San Diego. He scattered five hits and three walks over seven scoreless innings to pick up his first career victory. Since giving up three runs in his first inning against the Reds, Hendricks has allowed just one run over a 12-inning span.
1. Cubs OF Nate Schierholtz is 8-for-23 with four doubles against Wainwright.
2. Cardinals C A.J. Pierzynski had three hits and an RBI in his debut with the club Saturday after signing a free-agent contract.
3. Chicago 2B Emilio Bonifacio is batting .326 against NL Central opponents.
PREDICTION: Cardinals 4, Cubs 3