The St. Louis Cardinals go for their second series sweep in a row when they close out a three-game set versus the New York Mets Wednesday afternoon from Busch Stadium.
The Cardinals started their five-game winning streak with a three-game sweep of the Washington Nationals and have taken the first two meetings with the Mets, including Tuesday's 5-2 win behind Michael Wacha's six innings of one- run ball and seven strikeouts. Some of his K's came in key moments.
"I tried to make that one of the big (points of) emphasis tonight, and whenever those guys were in scoring position, I tried to slow the game down," said Wacha. "I'm really just trying to make my pitch in those situations. I hadn't been doing that in the last few starts. It was nice to be able to start making pitches and to be able to execute those."
Yadier Molina homered for the Cardinals, while both Jon Jay and Matt Holliday ended with two hits and an RBI apiece.
St. Louis has won eight of its last nine games and will host Philadelphia for four games on this 10-game homestand. The club is 21-14 at home and 7-1 against the NL East at Busch Stadium this season. The Cardinals are 20-2 against NL East opponents at home over the past two seasons.
Lance Lynn gets the start for St. Louis Wednesday and halted a personal two- game slide his previous time out in a 1-0 win over Washington last Friday. Lynn held the Nationals scoreless in eight innings and allowed only two hits with eight strikeouts and no walks.
Lynn, who is 7-4 with a 3.16 ERA and tossed a shutout on May 27 against the Yankees, is 3-2 in his past five decisions and 4-1 in seven starts at Busch Stadium this season. He has faced the Mets five times (3 starts) in his career, going 1-2 with a 3.54 ERA.
The Mets are headed in the opposite direction of St. Louis with two straight losses and 11 in the last 14 games.
New York is last in the NL East and starting pitcher Jon Niese dropped to 3-4 on the season after he gave up five runs -- three earned -- and eight hits in six innings last night.
David Wright and Lucas Duda both homered for New York, which committed two costly errors and fell to 3-27 this season when scoring three or less runs.
"That's the old cardinal rule at this level, you don't allow people to have more outs than they need," said Mets manager Terry Collins. "They take what you give them, that's for sure."
Wright homered for the first time since May 28 and has only five hits since June 3 (14 games).
The Mets will visit Miami for four games after this set in the Gateway City.
New York hopes veteran right-hander Bartolo Colon can keep his unbeaten streak intact when he takes the mound against the Cardinals. Colon is 4-0 with a 1.78 earned run average in his last five starts and unbeaten over his previous six, with the Mets going 5-1 in that time.
Colon gave up two runs in 7 1/3 innings of a 6-2 win over San Diego last Friday and is 7-4 with a 3.16 ERA this season. He has faced St. Louis five times -- all starts -- in his career and has a 3-0 record to go along with a 3.19 ERA.
The Mets won three of four against St. Louis when these teams met up at Citi Field from April 21-24. The Mets have lost their last six series in St. Louis and 12 of their last 14 road series to the Cardinals.