Cards aim to complete sweep of defending champs

Chad Gaudin makes his first start since 2009 on Sunday when the San Francisco Giants try to avoid a three-game sweep at the hands of the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium.

Gaudin hasn't started since Sept. 28, 2009, when he lasted 6 2/3 innings for the Yankees and earned the decision in their 8-2 victory over Kansas City. He'll get the ball on Sunday, though, in place of the injured Ryan Vogelsong.

Gaudin has appeared in 18 games out of the bullpen for the Giants this season and is 0-1 with a 2.05 ERA.

St. Louis, meanwhile, will counter with lefty Tyler Lyons, who has been impressive since joining the Cardinals rotation. The 25-year-old hurler has won his first two starts and beat the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday, limiting them to a run and two hits in seven innings.

"Everyone's goal is to get here," said Lyons, who is pitching to a 1.29 ERA. "But at the same time, you want to get here and do well. Hopefully, I can keep it going."

St. Louis improved on its major league-best mark on Saturday with an impressive doubleheader sweep of the Giants, as it took the first game, 8-0, before rolling to a 7-1 triumph in the nightcap.

"It was a tough day, no getting around it," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "We scored one run. They played great. We didn't pitch great. We didn't hit the ball great. That's a good team over there."

Shelby Miller struck out seven over seven stellar frames in the opener, while Adam Wainwright went the distance in the second game to nail down the win for the Cardinals, who are 23-7 since a season-worst three-game skid in late April.

St. Louis has also won 12 of 16 at home.

San Francisco, on the other hand, has dropped seven in a row away from home and has managed just seven runs in its last six road games.

St. Louis took two out of three from the Giants back in the first week of April and has beaten them four straight times. It hasn't won five straight from San Francisco since turning the trick from Sept. 5-12, 1993.