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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, May 9th (All times Eastern)

St. Louis Cardinals (19-11) at Arizona Diamondbacks (14-17), 9:40 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: St. Louis - Kyle Lohse (4-1, 2.11) Arizona - Wade Miley (3-0, 2.33)

(Sports Network) - St. Louis starter Kyle Lohse will be attempting to rebound from his first loss of the season. Another powerful performance by Carlos Beltran would make that a lot easier.

Lohse and the Cardinals look to finish off their first three-game sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks in eight years this evening after watching Beltran supply all of the offense in Tuesday's encounter.

Signed this offseason to help ease the loss of free agent Albert Pujols, Beltran has hit .435 (10-for-23) in his past seven games, a span that began with a two-homer, seven-RBI outing versus the Pirates on May 2.

The 35-year-old Beltran was in All-Star form again last night, driving in six runs in the first two innings on a two-run homer in the first and the 10th grand slam of his career one inning later.

That was plenty of offense for Jake Westbrook, who allowed only four hits and two walks over seven scoreless frames while striking out eight in St. Louis' third straight victory.

"You could see the movement on the ball from the side, and when you see a sinker moving that much, you know they're going to have a hard time up there trying to put good wood on it," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said of Westbrook's outing. "You knew right from the start when he was giving the infield some work that his stuff was working right."

The Cardinals scored in the first inning for an eighth straight game and can now sweep the Diamondbacks for the first time since a three-game series from April 9-11, 2004 in Arizona.

St. Louis will likely go after its fourth straight win without catcher Yadier Molina, who suffered a left wrist injury after getting hit by a pitch while behind the plate in the ninth inning. The good news was that X-rays did not show a break.

Miguel Montero knocked in the only run of the game for the D-Backs with a double in the ninth inning, while Aaron Hill added three hits.

Ian Kennedy allowed six runs on six hits and a pair of walks while striking out six over seven innings for Arizona, which has lost four straight and six of its last seven.

"We have a lot of character on the ballclub, we're going to be fine," Arizona's Justin Upton said. "We just have to find it, find enough to pick ourselves up and get a little streak going."

The Diamondbacks will try to get things going against Lohse, who after starting 4-0 for the first time in his career took a loss on Friday in Houston.

The 33-year-old gave up three earned runs for a second straight outing and five in total on a season-high seven hits over five innings of a 5-4 setback.

"I didn't think I had too bad of control, I was up in the zone. I felt like I was right around the zone all night," Lohse said.

Lohse is 2-2 with a 5.36 earned run average in eight career starts versus Arizona, which he hasn't beaten since Sept. 23, 2008 in St. Louis. The right- hander is just 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA in five career starts at the Diamondbacks' Chase Field.

Left-hander Wade Miley counters for Arizona in what is his fourth start in place of the injured Daniel Hudson.

Miley has allowed seven earned runs in his six outings this season, including three starts, and four of those came in a no-decision versus the Mets on Friday. Miley lasted six innings, yielding seven hits with two walks.

"I struggled with the fastball command all night ... just kind of battled my way through it. The offense came back in the eighth and pulled it out," Miley said of his outing.

The 25-year-old faces the Cardinals for the first time.

The Cardinals won four of seven over the Diamondbacks last season, taking two of three in Arizona in a series in which the teams combined for 51 runs.

05/09 10:47:08 ET