Wednesday, June 11, 2014
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Preview: Cardinals at Rays

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[June 11, 2014]  The Tampa Bay Rays are scoreless in a club-record 28 straight innings and have dropped 14 of their last 15 contests as they enter the finale of their two-game set with the visiting St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday. Michael Wacha takes the mound as the Cardinals look to post their fourth consecutive shutout following a 1-0 victory in the series opener. The Rays have been blanked in a franchise-record three straight contests and five times in 10 games this month.

Matt Holliday provided the only offense for the Cardinals on Tuesday with his fourth homer of the season. Tampa Bay has stranded 63 baserunners over the last seven games and is 5-for-75 with runners in scoring position in 10 contests this month. James Loney is one of the only players hitting consistently for the Rays, going 6-for-18 over the last five games.

TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, FSN Midwest (St. Louis), Sun Sports (Tampa Bay)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Cardinals RH Michael Wacha (4-4, 2.61 ERA) vs. Rays LH Erik Bedard (3-4, 3.61)

Wacha allowed three runs over six innings in a loss at Kansas City last Thursday - the 13th time in 13 games he has given up fewer than four. The Iowa native, who was the 19th pick in the 2012 draft, is 0-4 with a 2.86 ERA on the road this season. Wacha, who will be facing Tampa Bay for the first time, has yielded only 66 hits and struck out 76 in 79 1/3 innings.

Bedard is the only Rays starter with a win in the last 23 games as he yielded four hits in six scoreless innings with a season-high eight strikeouts Friday versus Seattle. The Canadian has allowed fewer than two earned runs in six of 10 outings. Yadier Molina (6-for-11) and Allen Craig (5-for-12) each have homered twice against Bedard, who is 2-3 with a 5.60 ERA in five career starts against St. Louis.

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1. The Cardinals have hit a National League-low 36 homers and are led by SS Jhonny Peralta’s 10.

2. Tampa Bay rookie OF Kevin Kiermaier has recorded at least two hits in three of his last six games to raise his batting average to .362.

3. St. Louis OF Jon Jay is 7-for-19 during his six-game hitting streak.

PREDICTION: Cardinals 7, Rays 3

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