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While one starter will try to stay on a roll Wednesday night, the other is looking to rediscover his old ways in a matchup between the NL's last two champions.

The rubber match of a three-game set between St. Louis and San Francisco at Busch Stadium pits two starters going in opposite directions: Cardinals left-hander Jaime Garcia is moving up and former Giants ace Matt Cain is heading down.

The first two games of the series were low-scoring affairs with the Cardinals earning a 2-1 win in the opener before the Giants responded with a 2-0 victory Tuesday.

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Garcia figures to stick to that trend. The veteran lefty has held opponents to two or fewer runs in nine of his 11 starts this season, and he dropped his ERA to a season-low 1.57 with another gem Friday against Miami.

The Cardinals (76-42) own the lowest ERA in the big leagues but hadn't had a starting pitcher record an out in the ninth inning until Garcia (5-4). He allowed one unearned run and six hits in 8 1-3 innings during a 3-1 win.

It was Garcia's fourth start since coming off the disabled list from a groin injury and second consecutive outing allowing no earned runs.

"You go out there with a healthy Jaime and you never know what you could end up watching," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny told MLB's official website.

"Just watching their good hitters take the kind of at-bats they take against him, you can just see that when we talk about something looking different. It's unlike a lot of pitching they're going to see all season long. That's what makes him special."

Garcia has a 1.37 ERA since returning from the DL, allowing four earned runs and 14 hits in 26 1-3 innings. He hasn't faced the Giants since May 2014, but he is 2-1 with a 1.78 ERA in five starts against them over his seven-year career.

Things are trending in the opposite direction for Cain (2-3, 6.05 ERA).

The right-hander has failed to make it out of the fifth inning in his last two starts, and he has allowed a total of 18 earned runs and 30 hits over 19 2-3 innings in his last four. He is 0-2 with an 8.24 ERA in that span.

Two home runs hurt Cain in his last start against Washington - a solo home run from Danny Espinosa and a three-run shot by Bryce Harper. Cain, who hasn't faced the Cardinals since June 1, 2013, gave up five runs and six hits in 4 2-3 innings of an 8-5 win.

"He's been really good and then he's had his off innings," Giants manager Bruce Bochy told MLB's official website. "He's just off a little bit sometimes with the command and that's what's costing him with the long ball."

The Giants (65-54) won their fifth in six games Tuesday and gained a game on the Chicago Cubs in the chase for the NL's second wild-card spot.

Both catchers, Yadier Molina of the Cardinals and the Giants' Buster Posey, are one home run shy of 100 for their careers.

St. Louis right fielder Jason Heyward underwent a series of exams on his left hamstring Tuesday that revealed he is largely dealing with a cramping issue. He is not expected to land on the DL.