After working overtime in a 15-inning loss, the St. Louis Cardinals look to rebound on Friday as they open a three-game series at the Milwaukee Brewers. The National League Central-leading Cardinals have won 12 of 16 meetings with their division rival, including six of seven in Milwaukee. St. Louis, which has a magic number of three to clinch a postseason berth, owns a one-game lead over second-place Pittsburgh and two ahead of Cincinnati.
The Cardinals squandered a chance to improve upon those numbers and fell for the fourth time in 13 outings with a 7-6 setback to Colorado on Thursday. St. Louis may receive a boost on Friday with the likely return to the lineup of first baseman Matt Adams (elbow), who entered Thursday's tilt as a defensive replacement in the eighth inning. Milwaukee suffered a 5-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Thursday but owns a 5-2 mark on the homestand.
TV: 8:10 p.m. ET, FSN Midwest (St. Louis), FSN Wisconsin (Milwaukee)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Cardinals RH Shelby Miller (14-9, 3.01 ERA) vs. Brewers RH Johnny Hellweg (1-4, 8.31)
Miller recorded his second straight victory Sunday, allowing two runs on three hits in five innings against Seattle. The 22-year-old improved to 4-2 since Aug. 3 and has yielded just 18 earned runs in his last nine starts. Miller sparkled in his last meeting with Milwaukee, scattering five hits over 6 2/3 scoreless frames on Sept. 10.
Hellweg yielded four runs on eight hits in five innings on Saturday in a 7-3 loss to the Reds. The 24-year-old rookie is taking his lumps this season, allowing 27 runs on 31 hits in 21 2/3 innings. Hellweg also has permitted all three of his homers in his last two trips to the mound.
1. St. Louis OF Matt Holliday has been on quite the roll, going 8-for-12 with five RBIs and as many runs scored in his last three games.
2. Milwaukee CF Carlos Gomez has belted two homers in three games while also hitting safely in eight of nine contests.
3. With his 30th start, Miller will become the first Cardinals rookie pitcher to accomplish the feat since Rick Ankiel in 2000.
PREDICTION: Cardinals 4, Brewers 2