The St. Louis Cardinals will turn to veteran right-hander Adam Wainwright as they look to extend their winning streak and continue their playoff push by completing a four-game road sweep of the division-leading Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday afternoon.
Wainwright (16-7, 2.89 ERA) will be opposed by right-hander Adrian Houser (9-6, 3.43), who has won both starts this season against St. Louis without allowing an earned run in 14 innings.
The Cardinals pounded out 15 hits to push their winning streak to a season-high 11 games with a 10-2 victory over the Brewers on Wednesday night.
St. Louis is 4 1/2 games ahead of Cincinnati and Philadelphia for the second NL wild card. The Cardinals moved within 8 1/2 games of NL Central Division-leading Milwaukee, which has secured a playoff spot.
“I think this team shows up ready to play, to get out there the next day, or grow from the previous day,” Cardinals manager Mike Schildt said. “We grew from today. We’ll get after it tomorrow. Wayno will be out there and we’ll be ready to go.”
St. Louis jumped on Brett Anderson, activated off the injured list earlier in the day, for six runs — two earned — on six hits in 1 2/3 innings in his first start since Sept. 1.
Miles Mikolas (2-2), who was sidelined from May 22 until Aug. 20 with a right forearm injury, allowed two runs on four hits in a season-high seven innings in his seventh start back from the injured list.
“I love feeling a lit bit of the pressure there,” Mikolas said. “Like, ‘Hey, don’t drop the ball. Don’t mess this up.’ We’ve got a really nice streak going here.”
Tyler O’Neill jumpstarted the offense with a two-run homer in the first, his 29th. Paul Goldschmidt added his 27th homer, a two-run shot in the eighth.
The longest winning streak in Cardinals history is 14 in 1935. The previous time they won 11 consecutive games was in August 2001.
Milwaukee has lost four in a row and six of its last eight. The Brewers have scored just 10 runs combined in the six losses, and have been outscored 17-5 by St. Louis in the first three games of the series. Milwaukee is 15-45 when scoring three runs or fewer.
“There’s no secret on what offense is, we just haven’t done it over the past four or five days,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “We’re going to need to score more runs, I think that’s pretty clear. We will, we just didn’t do it again tonight.”
Wainwright is 19-12 with a 2.47 ERA in his career against the Brewers, including 9-4 at Milwaukee. The 19 victories are his second-most against any team (Pirates, 21).
After going 0-3 with a 4.08 ERA in five April starts, the 40-year-old Wainwright has played a key role in the Cardinals late-season surge. He is 9-1 with a 1.81 ERA in his last 12 starts.
Wainwright allowed two runs in six innings in his last start, but did not get a decision as the team rallied for a 3-2 victory over San Diego.
Cardinals third baseman Nolan Arenado, who drove in two to give him 103 RBIs on the season — along with a team-best 33 homers — was removed in the fifth inning with lower back tightness.
“We’ll evaluate it, there’s always some concern,” Schildt said. “It felt better at the end of the game than it did when he got taken out, so that’s encouraging.”
Houser is 6-1 with a 2.87 ERA in his last 17 games, including 15 starts. Milwaukee is 17-7 in games started by Hauser.
In his previous start, Hauser allowed five runs — four earned — in four innings without a decision in an 8-5 victory over the Cubs.
–Field Level Media
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