Among the league leaders in victories, Lance Lynn aims to get himself on track Saturday night for the St. Louis Cardinals as they resume a three-game series versus the San Diego Padres.
Lynn will benefit from opening up the second half at home, where the righty is 7-0 with a 2.44 earned run average in nine games this year.
However, Lynn lost three of his final four outings before the break, yielding 17 runs in that span. He lasted just 4 1/3 innings during a loss at the Chicago Cubs last Saturday, his shortest outing since going just four innings in his season debut on April 3.
Overall, the righty was charged with six runs on a season-high 11 hits, falling to 11-4 with a 4.00 ERA in 19 games this year.
"You go through times in the season where things aren't going your way, and I'm definitely in one of those stints right now," Lynn said.
Lynn, 26, beat the Padres the only other time he faced them, giving up three runs over six innings.
Edinson Volquez tries to avoid a third straight loss tonight, though there wasn't much he could do last time out.
Volquez gave up eight runs on nine hits and a walk in five innings of a 9-0 home decision versus the San Francisco Giants, but it ultimately mattered little as the Padres were no-hit by Tim Lincecum. Still, he failed to keep his team in the game, falling to 6-8 with a 5.74 ERA through 20 starts this season.
The 30-year-old righty is 2-5 in his career versus the Cardinals with a 5.58 ERA nine meetings. That includes a loss at home on May 21, when he yielded five runs over six innings of work. Four of those runs allowed came in the fifth frame.
Volquez, in his second season with the Padres, is 0-3 with a 6.50 ERA in four career starts at Busch Stadium
The Padres have also struggled as a whole in the Cardinals' home ballpark. San Diego is just 6-19 all-time at new Busch Stadium, losing five straight there. That includes last night's 9-6 setback that saw a late San Diego rally fall short.
St. Louis starter Jake Westbrook yielded two runs over 6 1/3 innings as San Diego plated all six of its runs over the game's final three frames.
Chase Headley, Carlos Quentin and Yonder Alonso all drove in runs during the ninth inning, forcing the Cardinals to bring Edward Mujica into the game. The All-Star closer retired Jedd Gyorko and Will Venable to end the game and secure his 27th save of the season.
It also kept Westbrook the winner, capping a excellent game from the hurler that included a career-high three hits at the plate. He scored twice and drove in a run.
"I had a lot of fun out there," Westbrook said. "It was the most I've run the bases since high school. It was a good win for us."
Matt Carpenter had three hits and drove in three runs for the Cardinals, who have won eight of their past 10 games and lead the Pittsburgh Pirates by two games for first place in the NL Central.
St. Louis was without outfielder Matt Holliday for a fourth straight game due to a strained right hamstring.
San Diego, meanwhile, has lost 19 of its past 23 games, including 10 in a row on the road. Cabrera ended with two RBI, while Headley had a pair of hits.
"I thought early on we had some decent swings, we just hit the ball to some guys," Headley said. "After the first time through (Westbrook) really settled in and just did what he usually does."
Jason Marquis was charged with six runs on eight hits and three walks over 5 1/3 innings to absorb his third straight loss.
San Diego is 8 1/2 games out of first place in the NL West.