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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, July 26th (All times eastern)

Los Angeles Dodgers (53-46) at St. Louis Cardinals (52-46), 1:45 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Los Angeles - Chris Capuano (10-5, 2.81) St. Louis - Jake Westbrook (8-8, 3.60)

(Sports Network) - Resurgent lefty Chris Capuano makes his 15th career start against the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday when the Los Angeles Dodgers wrap up a four-game series at Busch Stadium.

An 18-game winner with Milwaukee as recently as 2005, Capuano tumbled to 11 wins the following season and won just nine times from 2007-2010 while racked by injury and ineffectiveness.

He won 11 times in 33 appearances for the New York Mets last season and signed a three-year deal with the Dodgers in December that could pay him as much as $15 million through 2014.

Capuano picked up win No. 10 of 2012 against the Mets in his last start on July 21 after allowing three runs on eight hits in seven innings.

In 15 appearances - 14 starts - against St. Louis, he is 5-5 with a 5.33 earned run average.

The Cardinals reply with 34-year-old righty Jake Westbrook, who snapped a two- start skid with a gem in his last outing.

The Georgia native leveled his 2012 record at 8-8 with seven innings of scoreless three-hit ball on July 21 against the Chicago Cubs, walking two and striking out five in a 12-0 St. Louis win.

Westbrook last faced the Dodgers on May 19 in Los Angeles and dropped a 6-0 verdict after allowing three earned runs on six hits in 6 1/3 innings.

In three career meetings - including the lone start - he is 0-2 with a 6.48 ERA in 8 1/3 innings.

After dropping the opener of this set, the Cards have managed to win the last two. On Wednesday, Rafael Furcal singled in the winning run in the bottom of the 12th inning to lift St. Louis to a 3-2 victory, spoiling Hanley Ramirez's debut with the Dodgers.

Furcal ripped a line drive into left and a charging Tony Gwynn misplayed the ball, allowing pinch-runner Joe Kelly to score without a throw.

Ramirez, who was acquired from Miami earlier Wednesday and started at third base, tripled in his first at-bat, roping the first pitch he saw off the wall in center. He later singled in the sixth to tie the game, 2-2. He finished 2- for-4 with a walk.

"I feel comfortable," said Ramirez. "Great group of guys here. I can just go out there, have fun and play hard."

Kyle Lohse drove in a run for the Cardinals while also tossing seven innings of two-run ball. He allowed seven hits and struck out four without walking a batter. Fernando Salas (1-3) tossed two shutout innings, struck out three and got the win after working around a leadoff walk to Ramirez in the 12th.

Jamey Wright (4-3) was pegged with the loss.

The Dodgers swept a three-game series from the Cardinals in Los Angeles from May 18-20 and are 4-2 in their last five trips to Busch Stadium.

07/26 10:21:52 ET

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