On Thursday, Joe Kelly and three relievers combined to shut down the Atlanta Braves. Last night, Adam Wainwright went the distance for the fifth time this season in another win for St. Louis. Tonight, it's Shelby Miller's turn against the NL East leaders as the right-hander looks for his first win in his last four starts.
With six victories in their previous seven contests, the Cardinals continue to press the Pittsburgh Pirates for first place in the NL Central. St. Louis enters Saturday a game behind the Pirates.
Miller is 0-1 over his last three starts, but his first outing in that stretch was cut short after two pitches on Aug. 7 when he took a line drive off his right elbow. He followed that up with a loss against the Pirates and then had a no-decision Monday at Milwaukee when he allowed five hits and two runs in 5 1/3 innings.
Miller has made just one career start against Atlanta, losing 5-2 on July 28 at Turner Field when he gave up three runs on six hits in 5 2/3 frames.
Julio Teheran counters for the Braves. The righty is 3-1 in his last six starts and is coming off a victory Sunday against the Nationals when he threw six shutout innings. His only career appearance against the Cardinals came July 27 when he allowed two hits in seven shutout innings in a no-decision.
In Friday's opener, Wainwright fired his fifth complete game of the season en route to his National League-leading 15th win, as the Cardinals posted a 3-1 win.
Wainwright (15-7) struck out nine and held the Braves to one run on six hits to secure his 16th career complete game and help the Cardinals claim their third straight victory.
"It has been a little while since I went a full nine, always good to do it," said Wainwright. "I felt like our team needed it tonight and we beat a very tough team, a very tough pitcher and we're excited to come away with a win."
Matt Holliday clubbed a tie-breaking solo shot in the sixth, Wainwright added a sacrifice fly in the seventh, and Yadier Molina finished 3-for-4 with two doubles and a pair of runs scored for the Cardinals.
Kris Medlen (10-12) pitched admirably in defeat, giving up three runs on six hits over six-plus frames to snap his four-start winning streak.
Freddie Freeman registered two of Atlanta's six hits and knocked in the only run of the game for the Braves, who have lost four of their last six games.
"We've seen him do that a lot," said Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez regarding Wainwright. "He's a special guy and when he gets up on the mound, he can do what he did to us today."
Atlanta swept the Cardinals July 26-28 at Turner Field in a three-game set.