Tuesday, July 29, 2014
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Preview: Cardinals at Padres

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[July 29, 2014]  With a showdown against National League Central-leading Milwaukee looming on the weekend, the St. Louis Cardinals must be wary of looking ahead when they open a three-game series at the San Diego Padres on Tuesday. The Cardinals, who trail the Brewers by 1 1/2 games in the division, rebounded from a four-game losing streak to win their last two at the Chicago Cubs. Lance Lynn looks to make his fifth consecutive quality start in the series opener.

The Padres got off to a promising 3-1 start on their seven-game road trip before dropping the final three in Atlanta, including Monday's 2-0 loss that marked the 16th time San Diego has been shut out this season. Jedd Gyorko, who belted 23 homers as a rookie last year, returned to the lineup after missing nearly two months due to plantar fasciitis and went 1-for-3. He'll be needed after Carlos Quentin (knee) was placed on the 15-day disabled list Monday.

TV: 10:10 p.m. ET, FSN Midwest (St. Louis), FSN (San Diego)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Cardinals RH Lance Lynn (11-7, 3.05 ERA) vs. Padres RH Tyson Ross (9-10, 2.65)


Lynn had his three-start winning streak halted last time out despite limiting Tampa Bay to two runs (one earned) over 6 1/3 innings. Lynn has permitted a total of five earned runs in his last four outings and yielded two runs or fewer in eight of his last nine starts. Lynn has split a pair of career decisions against the Padres but must be wary of Will Venable, who is 4-for-7 with a homer against him.

Ross has had only one clunker in his last nine starts but is only 3-5 in that span despite holding the opposition to two earned runs or fewer on eight occasions. The All-Star is coming off a superb outing at the Chicago Cubs, striking out a career-high 11 and giving up one run over six innings to win his second straight start. Ross, who had made three career relief appearances versus St. Louis, has yielded four runs in 35 frames over his last five turns.

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1. Cardinals LF Matt Holiday has recorded four homers and eight RBIs in his last eight games.

2. Gyorko is 7-for-22 with a home run lifetime against St. Louis.

3. The Cardinals won four of their six meetings with the Padres in 2013.

PREDICTION: Cardinals 3, Padres 2

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