St. Louis righty Lance Lynn tries to become the first pitcher to 10 wins this evening when the Cardinals continue a three-game set with the Chicago White Sox at Busch Stadium.
Lynn improved to 9-2 in Houston on Thursday, as he allowed two runs and six hits in six innings. He also fanned a career-best 11 batters and lowered his ERA to 2.66.
"You could tell he felt really good," manager Mike Matheny said. "The ball was jumping out of his hand."
His nine wins are tied with New York Mets' knuckleballer R.A. Dickey for the major league lead. Dickey will also be on the hill tonight going after his 10th win.
Lynn has never faced the White Sox, who will counter with former NL Cy Young Award winner Jake Peavy.
Peavy is enjoying a bounce-back campaign and comes into tonight's tilt sporting a 6-1 mark to go along with a 3.05 ERA. Peavy did not get a decision his last time out against Toronto, but allowed three runs (2 earned) and four hits in six innings of a 4-3 win. However, he did walk five batters.
The 31-year-old righty is no stranger to the Cardinals, having faced them eight times while as a member of the San Diego Padres, but this will be is first start against them since 2008. He is 3-3 against the Cards with a 3.20 ERA.
Chicago's prowess away from home continued on Tuesday, as A.J. Pierzynski finished 3-for-4 with a two-run home run to help the White Sox to a 6-1 win. Orlando Hudson clubbed a two-run triple and Adam Dunn belted his 21st home run of the year for Chicago, which won its eighth straight game on the road.
Jose Quintana (2-1) allowed just one run on 10 hits over 5 1/3 innings to earn the win. He fanned four without walking a batter. The Chicago bullpen gave up only one hit the rest of the way.
"He finds a way to make them hit a ground ball or get ahead," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "They had some innings that make you scratch your head and get people moving around in the bullpen, but he finds a way to make a pitch and get out of it."
Chicago, which is in the midst of its best road stretch since a 12-game tear June 4-July 3, 2000, owns the majors' best road mark at 18-9.
Allen Craig singled in the lone run for the defending World Series champs, who went 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position and stranded seven men on base.
Adam Wainwright (5-7) pitched well in defeat, allowing two runs on five hits and a pair of walks over seven innings. He also had seven strikeouts.
St. Louis hasn't played the White Sox since it was swept by them back in 2006. This is the first meeting between the teams in St. Louis since the Cardinals broke the brooms out in 2001.