Looking to become just the third 13-game winner in baseball this season, Adam Wainwright toes the rubber on Sunday afternoon for the St. Louis Cardinals in the finale of a three-game series against the San Diego Padres.
The All-Star righty went into the break tied for the NL lead in wins thanks to a 12-5 record and 2.45 earned run average through 20 starts.
Wainwright had a shot at his 13th victory last Sunday versus the hosting Chicago Cubs, but allowed four runs over six innings of a game his team won 10-6. The 31-year-old did not get a decision.
Wainwright has an excellent 1.78 ERA in eight home outings this season, but is just 4-4.
He beat the Padres in San Diego on May 21, hurling 7 1/3 innings of one-run ball with six strikeouts. He is 4-2 lifetime in this matchup with a save and 1.34 ERA in nine games (6 starts).
After putting together a solid first half for a struggling Padres team, Eric Stults takes the hill for today's finale.
The 33-year-old hit a bit of a rough patch by allowing nine earned runs over a total of eight innings in back-to-back road losses in Miami and Boston, but rebounded to win his final two starts before the break to get to 8-7 with a 3.40 ERA through 20 starts this season.
Stults threw a one-run complete game to best Colorado on July 9, then held San Francisco to a run over six innings of a 10-1 triumph last Sunday.
The southpaw has faced the Cards once before and claimed a win, allowing three runs over 5 1/3 innings.
After a late rally fell short in Friday's opener, the Padres got their offense going early last night and held the Cardinals' bats at bay in a 5-3 win.
Carlos Quentin, Everth Cabrera, Jedd Gyorko and Nick Hundley each drove in a run, while Chase Headley had two hits and scored twice as San Diego built a 4-0 lead after three innings. That came after the Padres scored six times in the final three frames of Friday's 9-6 setback.
"It's always nice when you can get off to a good start and put a run up in the first couple innings," Headley said. "I thought we did a good job coming out and kind of maintaining what we left off doing (Friday) night and hopefully we can play another good game (Sunday)."
Edinson Volquez allowed three runs on four hits over five frames, but the Padres were able to make a winner out of the right-hander, as four San Diego relievers held the Cardinals hitless over the final four innings. Huston Street spun a 1-2-3 ninth to secure his 16th save.
The Padres snapped a five-game slide in St. Louis and improved to 7-19 all- time at new Busch Stadium.
Lance Lynn labored through five innings, giving up four runs on six hits and three walks to absorb his fourth loss in his last five starts for the Cards.
"Just never had a feel for his fastball," St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said of Lynn. "It wasn't how we drew it up. He's still a young pitcher and still has a lot to learn."
Allen Craig plated a pair of runs for the Cardinals, who managed just four hits in the setback and lost for only the third time in their last 11 games. However, they still lead the NL Central by two games over Pittsburgh.
Brock Peterson drove in a run in his major league debut. The 29-year-old was recalled from Triple-A Memphis after Matt Holliday was placed on the 15-day disabled list due to a nagging hamstring injury.