Cards eye series win at the Big A

Adam Wainwright and the St. Louis Cardinals look to wrap their first ever trip to Anaheim with a series victory on Thursday night in the finale of a three-game series with the Los Angeles Angels.

The Cardinals lead the all-time series between these clubs 6-5, dropping Tuesday's opener before rebounding in a big way to win last night's meeting 12-2.

St. Louis broke the game open with a seven-run second inning, highlighted by Jon Jay's two-run homer that was in the glove of Los Angeles outfielder Mike Trout before falling over the wall as he hit the fence.

Matt Carpenter homered and drove in one of his three runs in the game during the second inning -- extending his hitting streak to 12 straight contests -- and Daniel Descalso had a two-run double in the second as St. Louis won for just the third time in 10 games.

"A lot of good things happened tonight. We had a big inning in the second and it kept going all night," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said.

Shelby Miller snapped a personal two-game skid. The 22-year-old right-hander allowed five hits and two runs while fanning six over six innings.

"I felt like my fastball had a little bit of life," Miller said.

Coming off his fourth complete game of the season, Adam Wainwright looks to notch an NL high-tying 12th victory tonight for the Cardinals.

Wainwright has logged at least seven innings of work in eight straight starts and in nine of his past 10, a span that began with a two-hit shutout of Colorado on May 11. The right-hander posted his 15th career complete game on Saturday in Oakland, scattering a run, five hits and two walks while striking out eight to snap a two-start slide.

"If you start the game, you want to throw the last pitch, too," Wainwright told St. Louis' official website. "Luckily, I was able to get ahead early, get some quick innings and keep my count down."

The 31-year-old improved to 11-5 with a 2.22 earned run average in 17 starts this season and will face the Angels for the first time.

He'll also look to extend the struggles of former teammate Albert Pujols, who is facing the Cardinals for the first time after spending the first 11 years of his career in St. Louis. Pujols won two World Series championships with the Cards and is 0-for-7 in this series.

Pujols went hitless in four at-bats on Wednesday and is in a 2-for-29 slump, dropping his average to .244 on the year.

Josh Hamilton extended his hitting streak to eight straight games for Los Angeles, but Jerome Williams yielded seven runs in the loss and did not make it out of the second inning. He allowed four hits and walked four.

"You're going to have games that get away from you, and tonight was one of them," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Jerome had a good idea of what he wanted to do, but in the second inning he tried to be too fine and things got away from him."

Hank Conger hit a two-run homer in defeat, which snapped the Angels' seven- game winning streak.

The Angels now hope that right-hander Joe Blanton continues to head in the right direction with tonight's start.

Blanton had a start skipped after yielding six earned runs over five innings of a loss in Boston on June 9, but has yielded just five earned runs and struck out 23 over 21 innings in three starts since.

The 32-year-old got his first decision in that span on Saturday in Houston, giving up two runs on three hits and two walks over seven frames of a 7-2 victory. It was Blanton's first win since May 23 and improved him to 2-10 on the year with a 5.07 ERA through 16 starts.

Blanton is 3-2 lifetime against the Cardinals with a 4.34 ERA in eight games (7 starts).