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National League Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, June 21 (All times Eastern)
Philadelphia Phillies (34-38) at St. Louis Cardinals (39-35), 4:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Philadelphia - Cole Hamels (2-3, 2.78) St. Louis - Adam Wainwright (9-3, 2.15)
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Philadelphia Phillies would love for Cole Hamels to stay on his incredible roll as they continue to chase .500.
The St. Louis Cardinals are hoping that a minor issue with Adam Wainwright's elbow doesn't derail his season.
The two hurlers square off on Saturday afternoon in the third contest of a four-game set between the Phillies and Cardinals.
After opening the season on the disabled list and then giving up 13 runs in his first three outings, Hamels has yielded one run or fewer in six of his last eight appearances. That includes a current run of 23 2/3 straight scoreless innings and he has not been scored on in three consecutive starts.
However, the left-hander has just one win over that time and has not gotten a decision in his past two outings. Despite the lack of support, Hamels continued his surge on Monday versus Atlanta, logging seven innings while working around five hits and two walks in a game won by the Phillies 6-1 in 13 innings.
"All you can do is take care of the things you can control, like going out there and throwing up as many zeroes as you can," said Hamels. "You can't expect your offense to throw up numbers every game and to hit home runs every game."
The 30-year-old is 2-3 with a 2.78 earned run average on the year and 2-3 lifetime against the Cardinals with a 3.34 ERA.
Hamels will likely need to stay in top form today in a matchup with Wainwright, who is 9-3 with a 2.15 ERA this season.
The 32-year-old, though, was forced to skip his last start due to nagging tendinitis in his right pitching elbow. The good news is that Wainwright completed a bullpen session on Wednesday with no complications.
"I'm smiling right now," Wainwright told St. Louis' website. "The feeling that I had last game was incredibly annoying, incredibly bothersome. I don't have that anymore, so I'm smiling. I think now we take steps to make sure we maintain things and do a little more work in the training room for the next couple of weeks probably to make sure it doesn't come back. After that, we're smooth sailing."
Wainwright was last in action on June 10, when he won a 1-0 decision over Tampa Bay with seven scoreless innings of seven-hit ball.
He is 4-1 in his career against the Phillies with a 2.41 ERA.
Philadelphia pulled to within four games of the .500 mark with last night's 5-1 win, its season-high fifth straight victory and ninth in the past 11 games.
A.J. Burnett wasn't knocked off his game by a 50-minute rain delay to begin the contest, nor by a swarm of moths that covered nearly the entire field during the game. He ended up hurling his first complete game of the season, giving up seven hits and a walk.
Marlon Byrd homered for the Phillies, while Jimmy Rollins drove in two runs.
"You look for a crack in the armor and you find one and you keep hammering away at it," said Rollins, who has a hit in 14 straight games.
Jaime Garcia was charged with four runs on seven hits in five-plus innings, absorbing his first loss of the season for the Cards.
"I don't know if it was running out of gas or exactly what it was, but (Garcia) lost a little bit of the fine location on that fastball with that sink," said St. Louis manager Mike Matheny.
The Cardinals lost their third straight game and have scored just four runs in that span.
The Phillies were swept in three games last season in their lone trip to St. Louis, outscored 18-5.
06/21 10:33:51 ET