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National League Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, June 6th (All times Eastern)
St. Louis Cardinals (28-27) at Houston Astros (23-31), 8:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: St. Louis - Adam Wainwright (4-6, 4.98) Houston - Bud Norris (5-2, 4.52)
(Sports Network) - Adam Wainwright looked to be rounding into his 20-game form with two brilliant outings to close out May.
Then came June.
Now, Wainwright looks to rebound from one of his worst starts of the season as the St. Louis Cardinals resume a three-game series with the Houston Astros.
Following a 19-win campaign in 2009, the right-handed Wainwright went 20-11 with a 2.42 earned run average in 33 starts two seasons ago, finishing second in National League Cy Young voting. However, he missed all of last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
The 30-year-old was just 2-5 with a 5.77 ERA through his first eight starts of the season, but impressed with a four-hit shutout of the Padres on May 22. He followed up that nine-strikeout performance with six innings of one-run ball to beat the Phillies on May 27.
Looking for a third straight win, Wainwright instead was on the other end of Johan Santana's no-hitter last Friday as St. Louis dropped an 8-0 decision to New York. Wainwright himself allowed seven runs on six hits and three walks over 6 1/3 frames, but wasn't too down on himself afterwards.
"I felt great tonight. I was locating and my stuff was pretty sharp. It was probably to oddest seven runs I've ever given up," said Wainwright, who dropped to 4-6 with a 4.98 ERA on the season.
Wainwright did beat Houston on May 6 at home, allowing only one run over seven innings of work. That upped his career numbers against the Astros to 10-1 with a 1.54 ERA in 18 games (12 starts).
The Astros will also be looking for their starter to bounce back tonight as Bud Norris tries to avoid a second straight defeat.
The right-hander had won four straight starts before not factoring into a decision against the Dodgers on May 26. He lasted 4 2/3 frames, charged with three runs, eight hits and four walks.
Things didn't go any better for Norris five days later in Colorado, drilled for nine runs on seven hits and three walks while recording just five outs. Norris also struggled through a sore hip flexor he aggravated early on in the game.
Norris fell to 5-2 with a 4.52 ERA in 11 starts this season after the road setback though he is 3-0 with a 1.60 in five outings at home.
The 27-year-old picked up a win over the Cardinals back on May 5 as he allowed only one unearned run over six innings on three hits and four walks. He improved to 7-2 with a 2.17 ERA in 11 career starts against St. Louis.
Houston held off a St. Louis rally to take Tuesday's opener 9-8. The Astros plated six runs through the game's first four innings, with Chris Snyder highlighting a four-run first with a single that chased home two runners before Justin Maxwell's two-run homer in the second.
Jose Altuve added four hits and scored three runs for the Astros, who have won two straight following an eight-game slide.
The Cardinals made things interesting by plating four runs in the ninth. Adron Chambers hit a two-run triple off David Carpenter and closer Brett Myers then entered the game and allowed a two-run homer to Rafael Furcal.
Myers, though, was able to record the final two outs for his 14th save of the campaign.
"Any time you win a game like that it's huge," said Astros manager Brad Mills. "Of course you want to keep the momentum and not have it be so close, but the bats came through for us and Myers locked it down."
Matt Adams hit a three-run homer in defeat, the Cardinals' sixth in seven games. Jaime Garcia lasted just two innings as he was tagged for six runs on five hits with two walks. He had skipped his last scheduled start due to left elbow discomfort.
"I'm going to have to get some things looked at because I'm struggling right now," said Garcia. "But I have to more forward if I want to get out of this and scratch out some wins for the team."
The Astros have won six of their past nine versus the Cardinals, including two of three at home in early May.
06/06 10:48:58 ET