Wednesday, May 21, 2014
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Preview: Diamondbacks At Cardinals

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[May 21, 2014]  A masterpiece by Adam Wainwright in Tuesday's series-opening victory over the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks overshadowed some key offensive numbers from the St. Louis Cardinals. Ranked at the bottom of the National League in home runs with 23 entering this series, the Cardinals saw Matt Adams and Jhonny Peralta go deep to end an eight-game drought without a blast. St. Louis also came through in the clutch, pushing across all five runs in Tuesday's 5-0 triumph with two outs.

The Diamondbacks had won two straight and rolled up 18 runs against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday, but they managed only one baserunner against Wainwright - by virtue of Paul Goldschmidt's double. "He was good, but every pitcher for these guys is good," Goldschmidt said. "So there is never a night off." Goldschmidt, who is batting .317 on the season, is 6-for-16 with a home run, three doubles and seven RBIs in his last four games in St. Louis.

TV: 8:15 p.m. ET, FSN (Arizona), FSN Midwest (St. Louis)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Diamondbacks RH Brandon McCarthy (1-6, 5.01 ERA) vs. Cardinals RH Michael Wacha (3-3, 2.82)
 


While McCarthy sports a dismal record, he has shown signs of turning things around with three strong performances in his last four starts. He went a season-high eight innings against Washington last time out but did not factor in the decision despite giving up just one run on two hits. The 30-year-old Californian was shelled in his previous start, but that followed back-to-back outings in which he allowed two earned runs over 14 frames.

While Wacha has been unable to match the dominant form from last year's spectacular postseason, the hard-throwing 22-year-old has yet to permit more than three runs in any of his nine starts. He picked up the victory last time out, limiting the Chicago Cubs to two runs over seven innings to halt a five-start winless drought. Wacha is undefeated at home, logging a 3-0 mark and 3.16 ERA while striking out 25 and walking four in four starts.

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WALK-OFFS

1. Cardinals SS Peralta, who hit his team-high ninth homer Tuesday, is 1-for-21 lifetime against McCarthy.

2. Diamondbacks CF A.J. Pollock hit a three-run homer off Wacha last year in the right-hander's second career start.

3. RHP Jason Motte, who had 42 saves for St. Louis in 2012 before undergoing Tommy John surgery, was activated from the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday.

PREDICTION: Cardinals 3, Diamondbacks 2

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