Cardinals seek to avoid season series sweep by Red Sox

BOSTON -- Back in May, Boston's Eduardo Rodriguez and St. Louis' Lance Lynn faced each other when the Red Sox and Cardinals squared off at Busch Stadium in the first of four games this year between the old World Series rivals.

On Wednesday night, the pitchers face each other again when the teams meet in the second contest of the two-game Boston portion of the season series.

Lynn looks to continue his recent pitching spurt, while Rodriguez again seeks his first victory since coming off the disabled list after recovering from his latest knee injury.

Lynn (10-6, 3.12 ERA) also will attempt to keep his team from dropping all four 2017 games to the Red Sox -- and from losing their third in a row overall after an eight-game winning streak.

The 30-year-old right-hander, who lost that May game to the Red Sox, was the subject of trade rumors when the Cardinals were teetering on the brink at the deadline. However, Lynn stayed as he and his team took off. St. Louis is tied with the Milwaukee Brewers for second place in the National League Central, 1 1/2 games behind the first-place Chicago Cubs.

Lynn is 4-0 with a 1.45 ERA in his past seven starts, and he hasn't lost since July 4. He has held opponents to two runs or fewer in a major league-best 18 starts and one or fewer in 12 -- tied for the major league lead.

He is 0-1 with a 2.08 ERA in two regular-season starts against the Red Sox. He also pitched twice against Boston in the 2013 World Series, starting and losing Game 4.

In his most recent start, Thursday against the Kansas City Royals, Lynn took a line drive off the head and stayed in the game.

When manager Mike Matheny and trainer Adam Olsen came out to see him, Lynn, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, said: "Go back to the dugout where you belong." Told they were doing their job by checking on his well being, Lynn snapped: "I'm trying to do mine. Get off the mound."

Lynn wound up allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits and five walks over six innings. He got a no-decision in the Cardinals' 8-6 win.

Boston's active roster is a combined 5-for-36 against Lynn, while no Cardinal has more than three career at-bats against Rodriguez.

Rodriguez (4-3, 3.80 ERA) is 0-1 with a 4.39 ERA in five starts since coming off the DL, but he deserved a better fate his last two times out. He gave up two runs on four hits in six innings against the Chicago White Sox on Aug. 4, then yielded two hits in six shutout innings against the Yankees on Friday in New York. He walked two and fanned seven during a game the Yankees rallied to win.

The Red Sox, winners of 11 of their last 13 games, improved to 12-4 in interleague play this season with a 10-4 victory over St. Louis on Tuesday night. Boston holds a 4 1/2-game lead over the second-place Yankees in the American League East.