The Cubs haven't earned a home sweep of the Cardinals since taking a four-game set, July 27-30, 2006. Chicago's 3-0 victory yesterday moved St. Louis 8 1/2 games behind Milwaukee in the division.
Westbrook tries to snap a personal four-game winless stretch tonight. The right-hander is 0-3 in that span, including a defeat at Pittsburgh on Monday, when he allowed nine hits and five runs -- four earned -- in 5 2/3 innings.
Westbrook has a career record of 2-2 with a 6.41 ERA in four career starts vs. the Cubs. The trouble is he's 0-2 with 9.72 ERA vs. Chicago this season. He retired the first 16 batters in his last start against the Cubs on Sunday Night Baseball on July 31, but allowed four runs in the sixth inning in a 6-3 loss. He has a 6-3 record with a 3.75 ERA in 13 road starts this season.
Rodrigo Lopez hasn't won three straight starts since the 2006 season, but has an opportunity to do so tonight. The right-hander beat Washington August 10 by throwing 5 2/3 innings, and followed that up with a 5 1/3-inning effort at Houston on Monday. The last time Lopez won three starts in a row was May 25 - June 4, 2006 when he pitched for Baltimore.
While Lopez has excelled overall lately, he hasn't pitched well against the Cardinals. Lopez is 0-3 with an 8.76 ERA (12 ER/12.1 IP) in his last four games (2 starts) vs. St. Louis. He's 2-4 lifetime against the Cardinals.
Ramirez is riding a nine-game hitting streak. He went 1-for-3 Saturday and is batting .472 (17-for-36) during the stretch.
"He's a pretty disciplined hitter with a really good game plan," Cubs manager Mike Quade said of Ramirez. "When he goes to the plate, he's able to execute."
Garza (6-9), who escaped a bases-loaded jam in the first inning, scattered five hits, walked two and struck out eight to pick up just his second win in his last 10 starts.
Chicago, which improved to 13-5 in August, scored all three runs in the fourth inning off Edwin Jackson (2-2).
"That one inning I paid for a couple balls left in the middle of the plate," Jackson said.
St. Louis holds a 7-4 lead in the season series.