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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, April 16th (All times Eastern)

St. Louis Cardinals (9-5) at Milwaukee Brewers (10-4), 1:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: St. Louis - Joe Kelly (1-0, 0.79) Milwaukee - Wily Peralta (1-0, 2.25)

(SportsNetwork.com) - It really isn't a surprise that the St. Louis Cardinals have been able to cool off the previously-streaking Milwaukee Brewers.

The Cardinals seek a three-game sweep of their NL Central rival on Wednesday afternoon.

Milwaukee had won nine in a row and was off to a 10-2 start before losing the first two games of this set. St. Louis rolled to a 4-0 victory in Monday's opener, then got another solid pitching effort in last night's 6-1 triumph.

The Cardinals have now won 31 of their last 43 meetings with the Brewers dating back to August of 2011.

"(Milwaukee) is a good team and we don't take anything for granted," said St. Louis manager Mike Matheny. "We just have to keep our focus that we have."

Shelby Miller allowed a run over six solid innings with seven strikeouts, while Jhonny Peralta hit a two-run homer and Matt Holliday a solo shot. Mark Ellis, activated from the disabled list prior to the game following a bout of left knee patella tendinitis, drove in two runs in his season debut.

St. Louis has won four in a row, including the first two of an 11-game road trip that next features four games versus the Washington Nationals.

Marco Estrada gave up three runs on five hits over six innings and Aramis Ramirez hit a solo home run for the Brewers, who have managed just six hits through the two games of this series.

"I think as well as we were swinging the bats it's too early to panic," said Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke. "It's still young in the season and there's going to be times where you run up against good pitching."

Roenicke's club runs into another solid pitcher today in Joe Kelly, who has a 0.79 earned run average through his first two starts of the season.

The right-handed Kelly yielded one run on six hits and four walks over 5 1/3 innings to beat Pittsburgh in his season debut, then was charged with just one unearned run on six hits over six innings without a walk on Friday against the Chicago Cubs. Kelly, though, did not get a decision in his club's 6-3 loss.

Kelly, 25, is 1-4 in his career versus the Brewers, posting a 4.68 ERA in eight games with five starts.

The Brewers counter with Wily Peralta, who picked up his first win of the season on Friday as he hurled seven innings of a 4-2 win over the Pirates. The 24-year-old righty was charged with two runs -- one earned -- on four hits and two walks.

"He (Peralta) had really good command on the fastball today," praised Roenicke. "Had a nice sink on it, kept it down low. Even the pitches he missed were low."

Four of the seven runs Peralta has allowed this season have been unearned, but he has not been as lucky when facing the Cardinals. In four previous meetings, he is 1-3 with a 7.71 ERA.

04/16 10:27:25 ET