Cardinals hope Wacha can salvage set in KC

( - Michael Wacha aims to stay unbeaten when the St. Louis Cardinals try to salvage a three-game series Sunday against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium.

Wacha is 6-0 with a 2.13 earned run average in eight starts and received plenty of run support in Tuesday's 10-2 pounding of the New York Mets at Citi Field, where he limited the hosts to two runs and four hits in seven innings.

The right-hander has allowed more than two runs just once this season and the Cardinals are 8-0 when he takes the mound. Wacha is 4-0 in five road starts and 0-1 with a 2.77 ERA in two career starts against the Royals.

St. Louis suffered its third straight loss and sixth in nine tries with Saturday's shortened 3-2 setback. The game was called in the bottom of the sixth inning because of inclement weather.

John Lackey was saddled with the loss and gave up three runs in five innings, while Matt Carpenter drove in a run and both Jhonny Peralta and Peter Bourjos crossed the plate in defeat.

"It stinks really bad," Lackey said of the rain-shortened loss. "There's a lot of game left."

Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday has a 40-game on-base streak, two shy of matching Albert Pujols' club record of 42 set in 2008.

The NL Central-leading Cardinals will begin a nine-game homestand Monday versus Arizona, Los Angeles and Milwaukee.

Kansas City is gunning for a sweep of the I-70 series and has won five straight. Alex Gordon hit a two-run homer Saturday and starting pitcher Edinson Volquez picked up the win by holding the Cards to two runs and four hits in six innings.

"I was kind of hurrying my throws a little bit," Volquez said. "I knew the rain was coming. I was trying to get past the fifth inning."

The AL Central-leading Royals will start a six-game road trip Monday against the New York Yankees and Chicago Cubs.

Yordano Ventura was able to get off the schneid his last time out and will take the mound for Kansas City in Sunday's series finale. Ventura was 0-3 in five starts until besting Cincinnati on Tuesday, as he delivered seven shutout innings and scattered four hits with six strikeouts and no walks.

Ventura leveled his record at 3-3 and lowered his earned run average from 5.36 to 4.56 in his eighth start of the season. The right-hander had given up 14 runs in his previous three starts and won his only career meeting with St. Louis, tossing six innings of two-run ball.

The Royals took three of their four meetings with the Cardinals in last season's I-70 rivalry.