Friday, August 22, 2014
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Preview: Cardinals at Phillies

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[August 22, 2014]  The St. Louis Cardinals are playing some of their best baseball of the season, and now their schedule is about to get a bit easier. The Cardinals conclude August with 10 games against the last-place Philadelphia Phillies, the struggling Pittsburgh Pirates and the last-place Chicago Cubs. St. Louis, which leads the National League wild-card race and sits 1 1/2 games behind Milwaukee in the NL Central, begins a soft stretch in its schedule Friday in the opener of a three-game set at Philadelphia.

The Phillies took two of three from Seattle this week but still have won just four times in their last 12 games. They will turn to Kyle Kendrick, who has not earned a victory in nearly a month, in the series opener versus the Cardinals. St. Louis, riding a 7-1 hot stretch in its last eight games, will give the nod to ace Adam Wainwright, who is aiming to become the majors' first 16-game winner.

TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, Fox Sports Midwest (St. Louis), NBC 10 (Philadelphia)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Cardinals RH Adam Wainwright (15-7, 2.40 ERA) vs. Phillies RH Kyle Kendrick (5-11, 4.90)

Wainwright has a chance to win his first Cy Young Award this season, but he needs to improve upon his first four starts this month. So far in August, Wainwright is 2-2 with a 5.13 ERA, including a seven-inning, four-run performance against San Diego in his last outing. A couple of Phillies with solid career numbers against the 32-year-old include Jimmy Rollins (.333 average in 27 at-bats) and Carlos Ruiz (4-for-13 with a pair of doubles).

Kendrick has worked more than six innings only one time in his last eight starts. He gave up four runs in five frames against San Francisco his last time out and struck out only one batter for the second straight outing. Kendrick, who will turn 30 years on Tuesday, has terrific career numbers against Cardinals star Matt Holliday (2-for-21, no walks).

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1. No current Phillies player has ever homered against Wainwright in a collective 155 at-bats.

2. Rollins, who went 2-for-5 in Wednesday's win over Seattle, is trying to record multiple hits in back-to-back games for the first time since the All-Star break.

3. The Cardinals' seven wins in their last eight games have come by an average of 1.9 runs per game.

PREDICTION: Cardinals 8, Phillies 2

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