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National League Preview from The Sports Network, Game Two



Saturday, August 30 (All times Eastern)

Chicago Cubs (60-74) at St. Louis Cardinals (71-62), 2:15 & 8:15 p.m. (DH)

Probable Starting Pitchers: Game 1: Chicago - Felix Doubront (2-4, 6.07) St. Louis - Justin Masterson (6-8, 5.88)

Game 2: Chicago - Tsuyoshi Wada (4-1, 2.56) St. Louis - Marco Gonzales (0-2, 7.07)

(SportsNetwork.com) - It's certainly not a good time for a prolonged skid.

The St. Louis Cardinals will try to avoid tying their season-long losing streak on Saturday when they meet the Chicago Cubs at Busch Stadium in the opener of a doubleheader amid a four-game weekend series.

The red-hot Cubs have won eight of 12 games after a win in Friday's opener, in which rookie Jorge Soler homered twice and singled. In three big league games, he's got seven hits in 11 at-bats, homered three times and driven in six runs.

"I feel so happy," he said. "I don't know how to explain it. Everything is going so good right now."

St. Louis had its previous long losing streak of the season from July 20-25, four in a row.

The Cardinals lead Atlanta by a game in the National League wild card playoff race, and they trail Milwaukee by 1 1/2 games in the NL Central.

Justin Masterson, who arrived from Cleveland on July 30, has allowed four or more runs in four of five starts with St. Louis, and he's lasted five or fewer innings in three starts.

"It's frustrating but I'm trying to stay positive," he said. "It's my responsibility to pitch better. It's a hard thing when you're not doing it."

He's not started against the Cubs and will meet another American League arrival, Felix Doubront, who came over from Boston and immediately went on the disabled list with a right calf strain.

Doubront has not started since June 20 for the Red Sox. He picked up a win against the Cardinals in Game 4 of the 2013 World Series.

Chicago starts Tsuyoshi Wade in game two after he threw six no-hit innings against Baltimore on the way to a 2-1 win on Sunday. He's starting for the first time against the Cardinals and is 4-0 with a sub-2.00 earned run average in his last six outings.

He's expected to face St. Louis youngster Marco Gonzales, who'll get the call- up from Triple-A Memphis. Gonzales made three starts in late June and early July in the big leagues before heading back to the minors.

On Friday, Luis Valbuena and Arismendy Alcantara each had a solo homer for the Cubs, who snapped a two-game slide.

Kyle Hendricks pitched six innings and gave up two runs on five hits. Neil Ramirez (2-1) pitched a scoreless seventh to get the win.

Matt Holliday and Jhonny Peralta each drove in a run for the Cardinals, who have lost five of their last seven. The Cardinals activated catcher Yadier Molina from the 15-day disabled on Friday and he was 0-for-3 with two K's.

Shelby Miller allowed two runs on four hits over seven innings in the no- decision.

08/30 10:26:22 ET