The St. Louis Cardinals opened this nine-game homestand with a poor performance on the mound, but they've been superb since.
Lance Lynn looks to keep it that way as the Cardinals attempt to sweep this three-game series from the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday night.St. Louis (25-21) is 6-2 on this homestand, which started in rocky fashion by giving up a season-high 20 hits while falling 17-5 to the Chicago Cubs on May 12. The Cardinals, though, have regrouped and compiled a 2.09 ERA -- 1.84 from the rotation -- over the last seven games.Their starters have been masterful in this series -- Adam Wainwright tossed a one-hitter in a 5-0 win over Arizona on Tuesday before Michael Wacha pitched six scoreless innings in a 3-2 victory in 12 on Wednesday.Wacha, though, exited after getting struck on the right elbow by a foul liner while sitting in the dugout.Lynn (5-2, 3.67 ERA) is looking to keep the Cardinals rolling on the mound in an effort to build on Friday's 5-2 win over Atlanta. The right-hander allowed two runs in seven innings against the Braves after going 0-2 with a 4.24 ERA over his previous four outings."It was just one of those things where everything clicked and all of a sudden I was throwing the ball where I wanted to," Lynn said. "I was throwing the ball in the strike zone and when that happens, it's fun to pitch."That was also the case against Arizona on June 3, when Lynn yielded one run in seven innings of a 7-1 home victory. He's 2-0 with a 2.37 ERA in five games -- three starts -- versus the Diamondbacks (18-30).Allen Craig is a .342 hitter with nine RBIs in nine career home meetings with Arizona. The right fielder collected three hits Wednesday, driving in Matt Holliday for the winning run on a fielder's choice and an throwing error by shortstop Chris Owings.Matt Adams also had two doubles and three hits as he continued his recent tear. The first baseman is 9 for 20 with four doubles, one triple and one homer while plating four runs in five games.That may not change in the series finale since Adams has six hits over his past three meetings with the Diamondbacks, and five have gone for extra bases.Arizona has been feast or famine at the plate during a 2-4 stretch. The team has totaled three runs and 19 hits in those defeats compared to 23 and 32, respectively, in the victories.Wade Miley (3-4, 4.94) seeks another strong road start. He's 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA in five outings outside Arizona compared to losing four of five at home behind a 7.14 ERA.The left-hander may be thrilled to take the mound on the road after surrendering four runs and two homers in six innings of a 7-0 home defeat to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday.Miley has split two career starts against the Cardinals, allowing six runs and 21 hits in 12 1/3 innings.He's had success against Craig, who is 1 for 6 against him, but Matt Carpenter is 4 for 5 with a pair of doubles.
Fifty-eight percent of Wade Miley's pitches this season have been in the lower third of the zone or below, the third-highest percentage among qualified pitchers. Since the start of 2013, Yadier Molina's .322 average against such pitches ranks fourth in baseball.
Gerardo Parra is hitting .323 against fastballs since the start of last season, compared with .226 against all other pitches. Lance Lynn ranks second in baseball over that time in fastball usage at 74 percent.