Adam Wainwright tries to become the first 11-game winner in the majors Tuesday when he leads the St. Louis Cardinals into the second test of a four-game series versus the Chicago Cubs at Busch Stadium.
Wainwright and Detroit Tigers starter Max Scherzer are tied with 10 wins apiece with Wainwright currently riding a five-start winning streak. He threw seven scoreless innings of four-hit ball in last Thursday's 2-1 road win against the New York Mets and improved to 10-3 with a 2.18 ERA in 14 starts.
The right-hander has allowed three runs in the past three starts and is 6-5 with a 4.46 ERA in 27 career games (18 starts) against the Cubs.
St. Louis took Monday's opener of this set, 5-2, behind five shutout innings from Shelby Miller, who held the Cubs to two hits with five strikeouts and a pair of walks. Miller battled a leg cramp early on, but improved to 8-4.
"I wanted to keep going...but (manager Mike Matheny) wanted to be cautious," Miller said of his leg. "He didn't want anything serious to happen."
Edward Mujica was the fourth reliever used and worked around a run over 1 1/3 innings for his 20th save.
Yadier Molina drove in two runs for the Cardinals, who have alternated wins and losses over the past seven games and lead the NL Central by 2 1/2 games over the Cincinnati Reds.
The Cubs hope to get back on track and have lost two in a row since winning three straight.
Travis Wood drew the start Monday for Chicago and was saddled with the loss for giving up four runs -- three earned -- and seven hits in seven innings.
"They hit some good pitches," Wood said. "It wasn't enough."
Darwin Barney homered and Nate Schierholtz added an RBI for the Cubs, who are 2-2 on a seven-game road trip and tied with Milwaukee for last in the Central. Cubs manager Dale Sveum was ejected for arguing a close play at the plate and has been tossed from a game three times this season.
Jeff Samardzija will take the ball for Sveum's squad Tuesday and he is 3-7 with a 3.46 earned run average in 14 starts. He is 0-1 in his last three appearances and did not figure into the decision of a 6-5 win over the Reds last Thursday, as he gave up five runs and 10 hits in six innings.
Samardzija has allowed 12 runs in his previous three outings and is 3-2 with a 4.95 ERA in 16 career games (5 starts) against St. Louis.
The Cubs and Cardinals split a two-game series at Wrigley Field last month.
Chicago has lost five in a row in St. Louis.