The St. Louis Cardinals will try to stay in the hunt for the NL Central lead when they open a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs Friday afternoon from Wrigley Field.

The Cardinals have won three of four games and sit two games behind the Pittsburgh Pirates for the division lead. They beat the Pirates, 6-5, in 12 innings on Thursday thanks to Matt Holliday's RBI single in the bottom of the 12th.

Matt Carpenter finished 4-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored for the Cardinals, while Holliday and Daniel Descalso each knocked in two runs.

"Every team is going to face adversity and have the ups and downs," said Holliday. "We play the Pirates a lot in the last few weeks so winning these games is going to be important for us."

St. Louis starter Lance Lynn allowed four runs on eight hits while striking out six over 5 1/3 innings for the no-decision and Kevin Siegrist got the win after pitching a scoreless top of the 12th.

Jake Westbrook gets the call for St. Louis Friday and he has lost three straight starts. Westbrook is 7-7 with a 4.11 earned run average in 17 games (16 starts) and 6-3 in 11 career starts against the Cubs.

Chicago has lost four in a row and was just swept in three games by the Cincinnati Reds.

In Wednesday's 5-0 loss, Chris Rusin pitched well in defeat and permitted two runs across six innings of work. David DeJesus and Darnell McDonald had the two hits for the Cubs.

"I just go game to game and go from there," said Rusin. "That's what helps me because if I put too much pressure on myself, that's when you start making mistake and trying to be too perfect."

Jake Arrieta will make his second start for the Cubs since coming over via trade with the Baltimore Orioles and made his Chicago debut July 30 versus Milwaukee. In a 3-2 loss to the Brewers, Arrieta allowed one run over six innings for the no-decision.

Arrieta was sent to the minors after that outing and has never faced the Cardinals.

The Cardinals are 7-6 against the Cubs this season.