Kyle Lohse targets his 15th win on Wednesday when the struggling St. Louis Cardinals try to avoid being swept by the San Diego Padres in the finale of a three-game set at Petco Park.
St. Louis still holds the second wild card spot in the National League, but it has lost five of six and is just 4-10 since Aug. 28. Luckily, for the Cardinals, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Pittsburgh Pirates are also struggling, but the Philadelphia Phillies and Milwaukee Brewers have been red-hot and have both pulled within four games.
On Tuesday, Alexi Amarista and Logan Forsythe each drove in a pair of runs to lead San Diego to a 6-4 win. Yonder Alonso and Cameron Maybin also tallied an RBI for the Padres, who have won six of their last seven.
"We're playing good ball right now," Forsythe said. "Big hits in big situations. We're having fun."
Edinson Volquez (10-10) earned the win after giving up three runs -- two earned -- on four hits and six walks over 5 1/3 innings.
David Freese smacked a solo homer and Jon Jay and Skip Schumaker also tallied an RBI for the Cardinals, who are still a game ahead of the Dodgers and 2 1/2 in front of the Pirates.
"The bottom line is we have to win, regardless of if the other teams in contention are losing or not," Freese admitted.
Adam Wainwright (13-13) gave up five runs -- two earned -- on five hits and struck out six over six frames.
Lohse was denied his 15th win on Friday against Milwaukee, as he received a no-decision, allowing two runs and five hits in 6 1/3 innings of a 5-4 loss. Still, he has won his last eight decisions and is 14-2 on the year with a 2.81 ERA.
Lohse has faced the Padres eight times and is 3-3 with a 5.24 ERA against them.
San Diego, meanwhile, will counter with lefty Clayton Richard, who is 12-12 with a 3.78 ERA. Richard did not get a decision his last time out on Sept. 5 against the Dodgers, as he surrendered three runs and 10 hits in only 4 2/3 innings.
Since June 12, though, he is 10-5 with a 3.27 ERA, and the Padres are 11-6 in those games.
Richard is 2-0 in his four starts versus the Cardinals with a 3.13 ERA.
St. Louis swept the Padres earlier in the season and has won six of the last nine meetings in the series, despite what has happened in this set.
The Cards haven't been swept by the Padres since August 1995, in San Diego.