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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Monday, May 14th (All times Eastern)

Chicago Cubs (14-20) at St. Louis Cardinals (20-14), 7:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Chicago - Ryan Dempster (0-1, 1.02) St. Louis - Jake Westbrook (4-2, 1.76)

(Sports Network) - Well-traveled right-hander Ryan Dempster aims for a first bit of luck in the 2012 season tonight when his Chicago Cubs head to Busch Stadium for the first of two games with their National League Central Division rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals.

Dempster, who's made 299 major-league starts since debuting in 1998, has allowed only four earned runs on 20 hits across 35 1/3 innings of work through five starts this season but has yet to record a victory.

He dropped his lone decision on April 11 against Milwaukee and the Cubs are 0-5 in the games he's pitched.

A native of British Columbia, Dempster is 8-8 with 15 saves in 47 career meetings with the Cardinals, including 21 starts.

He's given up two unearned runs on seven hits in 14 road innings in 2012.

The Cubs salvaged the finale of a three-game series and ended a 10-game skid at Miller Park on Sunday when Ian Stewart and Reed Johnson belted solo home runs in Chicago's 13-hit output in an 8-2 victory over the Brewers.

Shawn Camp (1-1) earned the victory despite allowing a run on two hits and a walk after he entered in the sixth in place of starter Jeff Samardzija, who gave up one run on three hits and two walks while fanning six.

Tony Campana had three hits and an RBI, while Starlin Castro and Alfonso Soriano both knocked in a run for the Cubs, who had not won in Milwaukee since April 9, 2011.

"They kind of had our number here at Miller Park," Samardzija said. "I wanted to set the tone early and get us in the dugout so our hitters could get out there."

In St. Louis, Jason Heyward hit a three-run double to help the Atlanta Braves complete a three-game sweep of the Cardinals with a 7-4 win.

Lance Lynn (6-1) surrendered the Heyward double, one of four hits Atlanta mustered off the St. Louis right-hander. Lynn walked three and struck out seven while throwing 121 pitches over six full frames

"I'd say (Lynn) had to fight pretty hard today," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "I thought he showed a lot by going out there and pitching as deep as he did."

Allen Craig hit a three-run homer with two gone in the ninth for the Cardinals, who had won four in a row before the series.

St. Louis goes with veteran Jake Westbrook, who's won four of six career decisions against the Cubs, including an April 15 start in St. Louis.

In that game, Westbrook, who'll be 35 later this season, allowed an earned run on four hits across seven innings of a 10-3 Cardinals victory.

It was his second win to begin the season and he's since split four decisions, most recently winning at Arizona on May 8.

In 41 overall innings, he's allowed just eight earned runs on 34 hits with 27 strikeouts, holding foes to a .225 batting average - 51 points below his career mark of .276.

Westbrook has a 4.54 earned run average in 33 2/3 innings against Chicago.

The Cubs and Cardinals have split six games so far this season.

05/14 11:00:47 ET