Friday, May 02, 2014
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Preview: Cardinals At Cubs

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[May 02, 2014]  The defending National League champion St. Louis Cardinals managed only one winning streak of more than two games in the first month of the season. Ace Adam Wainwright looks to get the Cardinals off to a strong start in May and win his fifth straight contest when they visit the Chicago Cubs on Friday to open a three-game series. Wainwright is tied for the major-league lead in wins with five and St. Louis hopes to build off a 9-3 victory over red-hot Milwaukee on Wednesday.

The Cardinals took two of three against the Cubs in mid-April, posting a season-high 10 runs in one of the victories with Wainwright on the mound. Chicago has won two of its last three contests, including a 9-4 triumph at Cincinnati on Wednesday that matched its season best in runs scored. Starlin Castro has fit in well in the cleanup spot, going 9-for-20 with five RBIs for the Cubs.

TV: 2:20 p.m. ET; MLB Network, FSN Midwest (St. Louis), CSN Chicago

PITCHING MATCHUP: Cardinals RH Adam Wainwright (5-1, 1.20 ERA) vs. Cubs LH Travis Wood (1-3, 3.52)

Wainwright has been brilliant in six starts, holding opponents scoreless in four of them while allowing only 24 hits in 45 innings overall. The 32-year-old gave up a season-high four runs in seven innings to beat Chicago on April 12 and boasts a scoreless streak of 25 innings. Junior Lake is 3-for-9 with a homer against Wainwright, who is 9-6 lifetime against the Cubs – 6-0 with a 3.72 ERA at Wrigley Field in Chicago.

Wood had given up three earned runs or fewer in his first four starts before being charged with five over 5 2/3 innings in his last outing against Milwaukee. The 27-year-old has struck out 31 and walked only seven in 30 2/3 innings while getting only five runs of support in his three losses combined. Yadier Molina (11-for-27, three homers) has hit well against Wood, who is 3-5 in 11 starts with a 5.16 ERA versus St. Louis.

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  1. Chicago OF/INF Emilio Bonifacio had 11 multi-hit games through April with 10 stolen bases and a team-best .337 batting average.

  2. The Cardinals were fourth in the majors in ERA (2.87) and tied for 21st in runs scored (105 in 29 games) through Wednesday’s games.

  3. The Cubs' bullpen has gone 14 innings over five-plus games without allowing a run after 3 1/3 two-hit frames Wednesday.

PREDICTION: Cardinals 4, Cubs 1

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