Jaime Garcia will put his personal three-game winning streak on the line Sunday for the St. Louis Cardinals in the finale of a three-game series versus the Colorado Rockies at Busch Stadium.
Garcia is 3-0 with a 1.25 earned run average during his winning streak and has allowed only one run in each of those games. He has pitched at least eight innings in consecutive starts, including last Sunday's 10-1 pounding at Milwaukee in which he gave up eight hits and a run to push his record to 4-1 in seven starts and lower his ERA to 2.25.
"It was a really good one against a tough lineup, a tough team, a tough place to pitch at," Garcia said after the Brewers game. "I was able to keep the ball down and take us deep in the game."
The Mexican left-hander is 1-0 in three home starts, but 0-2 with a paltry 11.85 ERA in three career starts against the Rockies.
St. Louis hopes Garcia can be the third straight starter to dazzle on the mound after Shelby Miller tossed a one-hitter on Friday, then Adam Wainwright held the Rockies to a pair of hits in Saturday's second straight 3-0 victory.
Wainwright struck out seven and issued one walk, and had a no-hitter broken up after 7 1/3 innings and improved to 5-2 on the season. He was inspired by Miller, who fanned 13 and retired the last 27 batters he faced a day earlier.
"Once you see Shelby mow through a lineup like he has been all year, you feel like you've got to go out there and do it, too," Wainwright said. "Or else the guys will think there's a new sheriff in town."
The Cardinals matched the all-time record for most consecutive hitters retired by one team against another with 40 in a row. The last team to retire 40 straight hitters was when the Texas Rangers turned the trick on the Detroit Tigers in 1996.
Allen Craig went 3-for-3 with a sacrifice fly, Yadier Molina had two hits -- including an RBI single -- and Matt Adams drove in a run to help the Cardinals collect their ninth win in 10 games. St. Louis left fielder Matt Holliday left at the end of the eighth inning with a twisted right ankle. He is day-to-day.
"He just turned it a little as he was going through," Cardinals skipper Mike Matheny told the club's website. "He said he was OK."
The NL Central-leading Cardinals, who are three games ahead of Cincinnati in the division standings, hope to start this 10-game homestand with a sweep of the Rockies. St. Louis will welcome the New York Mets to town for four straight games and the Milwaukee Brewers visit Busch Stadium this upcoming weekend.
Colorado hopes to avoid the sweep and get the bats going for once during this series in the Gateway City.
Dexter Fowler and Nolan Arenado provided the hits for the Rockies on Saturday, while the latter broke up Wainwright's no-hitter with a single in the eighth.
"I was just trying to hit the ball hard," Arenado said. "We know he's pitching a great game, and we haven't been getting a lot of hits lately. We try not to think about, 'Let's get a hit here.'"
Jhoulys Chacin pitched respectably in defeat, allowing two runs in five innings of work.
The Rockies have lost four in a row and five of six games, and will visit the Chicago Cubs for three games on the road swing.
Rockies starter Jorge De La Rosa was able to get back into the win column his previous time out and looks to remain there Sunday. De La Rosa halted a personal two-start slide and beat the New York Yankees on Tuesday with six shutout innings in a 2-0 triumph. He only allowed three singles.
"Jorge gave up three singles -- that's a big-time performance," Rox manager Walt Weiss said. "It's nice to see one of our starters go out there and pitch like he did. If we get good starting pitching like we have for the most part this year, we're going to win games."
De La Rosa, who has won three of his past five starts, was able to even his season mark at 3-3 in seven outings to go along with a 3.52 ERA. The left- hander and countryman of Garcia is 4-3 with a 5.40 ERA in 13 career games, seven of which have starts, against the Cardinals.
St.Louis won five of the seven matchups with Colorado last season.