The St. Louis Cardinals look to become the first 30-win team in the majors when they shoot for a fourth straight series triumph Wednesday in the finale of a three-game set against the San Diego Padres.
The Texas Rangers also have 29 victories on the season and will play Oakland this afternoon.
St. Louis rebounded from Monday's loss to hand the Padres a 10-2 beating last night, as starting pitcher Adam Wainwright bounced back from a rough outing to throw 7 1/3 innings of one-run ball. He also fanned six batters and walked one to push his mark to 6-3.
"I think for the most part, I accomplished what I set out to do," said Wainwright. "Directionally, my last start out was very bad, I got back on track tonight."
Daniel Descalso went 3-for-3 and broke the contest open with an eighth-inning grand slam and finished with five RBI. Carlos Beltran drove in a pair of runs while Matt Carpenter and Allen Craig each added two hits and an RBI for St. Louis, which has alternated victories and losses in its last seven contests.
The NL Central-leading Cardinals are 1 1/2 games ahead of Cincinnati in the division and will also visit Los Angeles and Kansas City on this road trip.
Taking the mound for the first time in the big leagues will be Cardinals youngster Tyler Lyons. The left-hander is taking the spot of Jaime Garcia in the rotation and was a ninth-round draft pick out of Oklahoma State in 2009.
Lyons will become the sixth rookie to pitch for the Cardinals this season and was 2-1 with a 4.47 ERA in eight starts with Triple-A Memphis.
"I've done some things well," Lyons said on the club's website. "I've had a couple of innings that have gotten me in trouble, but overall I feel like I have thrown the ball well. And over the course of the last month and a half, I felt like I have improved on some things and gotten comfortable out there."
San Diego had its three-game winning streak cut short with last night's lopsided loss and fell to 3-3 on a seven-game homestand.
Padres starter Edinson Volquez was knocked around over six innings, tagged for five runs on eight hits and a walk with five strikeouts. Anthony Bass did no better in relief and was reached for four runs over two innings.
"They strung some hits together in the fourth," said Padres manager Bud Black. "Beltran got a hold of his fast ball, he ran a little too much over the plate."
Jedd Gyorko scored once and had three of the Padres' seven hits in defeat.
The Padres, who will depart Petco Park tonight for five games at Arizona and Seattle, are slated to send rookie Burch Smith to the mound Wednesday. Smith is 0-0 with a 15.63 ERA in two starts and has allowed 11 runs in his appearances. The right-hander gave up six runs in an inning of work May 11 at Tampa Bay, then was reached for five runs in 5 1/3 innings of a 6-5 loss to Washington on Friday.
"I felt like I made an improvement and I was able to mix up some pitches," Smith said afterward. "It's all a learning process."
This marks the first series between St. Louis and San Diego this season. The teams split six meetings a year ago.