Series: Game 2 of 2

Series tied 1-1 (as of 5/8)

Game 1: Tuesday, May 7
St. Louis1Final
Chi Cubs2
Game 2: Wednesday, May 8
St. Louis5Final
Chi Cubs4

Cardinals 5

(21-12, 14-7 away)

Cubs 4

(13-21, 7-11 home)

    2:20 PM ET, May 8, 2013

    Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois 

    123456789 R H E
    STL 100110110 5 11 1
    CHC 100300000 4 11 1

    W: S. Maness (2-0)

    L: M. Bowden (1-2)

    S: E. Mujica (9)

    Cardinals-Cubs Preview


    Jake Westbrook owns the lowest ERA in baseball, but a visit to Wrigley Field could put that in jeopardy.

    Westbrook looks to give the St. Louis Cardinals another strong effort on the mound in order to help them salvage a split of this two-game set with the archrival Chicago Cubs on Wednesday.

    The Cardinals (20-12) have the best rotation in baseball with a 2.22 ERA, and Westbrook (2-1, 1.07 ERA) is a big reason for that.

    The right-hander, however, is 2-1 with a 6.14 ERA while allowing the Cubs to hit .305 over three starts at Wrigley. Overall, he's 5-2 with a 4.14 ERA in eight starts and won the most recent matchup on July 21, when he yielded three hits in seven innings of a 12-0 home victory.

    Westbrook enters this matchup after yielding one run in 12 innings over his last two starts, earning a 6-5 win in the latest one at Milwaukee on Thursday. That marked the sinkerballer's 100th career victory.

    "One of the luxuries I have is that my ball still moves," the 13-year veteran told the team's official website. "Lot of times, whether it goes where I want it to or not, it still runs down in the zone. It still can be good, and I can have some success."

    The Cubs (13-20) may be at the bottom of the NL Central, but they've won four of six at home against the Cardinals. They beat them again Tuesday, when Nate Schierholtz's two-run homer in the fourth provided the difference in a 2-1 victory.

    "Any time we come in here, it's tough," manager Mike Matheny said. "This team plays us tough any time we come into Wrigley."

    Chicago is trying for a third straight win at home for the first time since July 28-30, a stretch that included two wins over St. Louis.

    Alfonso Soriano, who had two hits and a run Tuesday, has hit the Cardinals hard of late with a .327 average in 14 meetings. Much of that damage has come in nine home games, during which he's batting .389 (14 for 36) with seven extra-base hits.

    Soriano, though, is 3 for 30 versus Westbrook, who has held the current Cubs roster to .218 at the plate.

    Carlos Villanueva (1-2, 2.85) is slated to get the ball in an effort to avoid losing three straight starts for the first time in his eight-year career.

    He'll try to draw some inspiration from Travis Wood's impressive performance Tuesday after he yielded one run with eight strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings to outpitch Lance Lynn.

    Villanueva has lost back-to-back-outings, surrendering eight runs with 12 strikeouts in 11 2/3 innings.

    "In my last two starts, I'm one pitch away from two quality outings," Villanueva said. "You know, the good part is I'm close to where I want to be. I'm just not putting that guy away when I need to."

    The right-hander is 2-0 with a 4.00 ERA in his last three starts against the Cardinals, but he hasn't faced them since June 25, 2011.

    He's held Yadier Molina to 3 for 18, but the Cardinals catcher is hitting .452 over his last eight games. He had two hits Tuesday, but killed a potential rally in the eighth by being picked off between second and third.

    Matt Holiday has homered on two of his three hits in 10 at-bats versus Villanueva, but he's 3 for 20 over the last six games at Wrigley.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Gameday Matchup

     St. LouisChicago
    Current StreakW6L3
    Last 108-23-7

    Pitching Matchup

    St. LouisChicago
    J. Westbrook
    7-8, 4.63 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/29 vs CHC
    1.0 IP, 0 ER
    Dec = ND
    C. Villanueva
    7-8, 4.06 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/28 vs CHC
    2.1 IP, 0 ER
    Dec = ND

    Gameday Lineups

    NO.St. LouisChicago
    1. M. Carpenter, 3B D. DeJesus, CF
    2. C. Beltran, RF S. Castro, SS
    3. M. Holliday, LF L. Valbuena, 2B
    4. A. Craig, 1B A. Rizzo, 1B
    5. Y. Molina, C N. Schierholtz, RF
    6. J. Jay, CF R. Sweeney, LF
    7. D. Freese, 3B D. Navarro, C
    8. P. Kozma, SS C. Ransom, 3B
    9. J. Westbrook, P C. Villanueva, P