The San Francisco Giants will try to solve their road woes on Saturday when they play a day/night doubleheader against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium.
Just hours after the Cardinals completed a nearly eight-hour, rain-extended marathon Thursday night and early Friday morning, they were once again affected by bad weather Friday night, when the scheduled opener of this three- game set was postponed due to rain.
Rain will once again be in the forecast for Saturday, but officials are hopeful they should be able to get the games in.
San Francisco enters the twinbill only one game back of NL West-leading Arizona. However, the Giants are just 9-15 on the road this season, compared to 20-10 at home. Starting Saturday, they'll play 12 of their next 14 in unfriendly confines.
The Giants avoided suffering a fourth straight loss at the hands of Bay-rival Oakland on Thursday thanks to Pablo Sandoval's go-ahead, two-run single that sparked a four-run sixth inning.
"If this game got away from us, it would have been a long flight to St. Louis, believe me," manager Bruce Bochy said of his Giants, who have dropped 10 of 16 overall. "I thought (Thursday) was really critical."
St. Louis leads the NL Central division and owns the best record in the majors, at 35-18. After winning this week's home-and-home interleague series with Kansas City, the Cardinals have not lost a series in their last nine tries.
"It's a good run, but I think that we're kind of just focused on the next game. We're playing well, we put some wins together and I think we kind of have a short memory," first baseman Allen Craig said. "We're just focused on the next game and not thinking too far back in the past, thinking about all the wins or losses or anything like that. You know, one day as a time, as cliche as it sounds, that's kind of how we're rolling."
Despite their overall success in the month of May (20-7), the Cards hold only a two-game lead over Pittsburgh and a three-game cushion over Cincinnati in the division standings.
They will turn to Shelby Miller in the opener. The rookie right-hander boasts an impressive 2.02 ERA through 10 starts, although he has failed to make it through six innings in each of his last three outings. Miller gave up three runs on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings of work at Dodger Stadium his last time out.
Opposing him will be Matt Cain. After a rough first month of the season (6.49 ERA in six April starts), the right-hander has settled down and reeled off a four-game winning streak with a 3.48 ERA over his last five starts. However, Cain walked a season-high five batters against the Rockies on Saturday. In a start against the Cardinals earlier this season, he gave up nine runs on seven hits and exited after just 3 2/3 innings.
Going for the Giants in the nightcap will be righty Madison Bumgarner, who has lost his last two decisions and has just one win in his last eight starts. Bumgarner lost in Oakland on Monday, as he allowed four runs and four hits in 6 2/3 innings to drop him to 4-3 to go along with a 3.12 ERA.
Bumgarner is 2-2 in four starts versus the Cards with a 3.82 ERA.
St. Louis, meanwhile, will hand the ball to righty Adam Wainwright, who is 7-3 with a 2.48 ERA. Wainwright won his second straight start and for the third time in four tries on MOnday in Kansas City, as he gave up three runs in eight innings.
Wainwright beat the Giants earlier in the year and is 3-4 lifetime against them with a 2.98 ERA in nine games (7 starts).
St. Louis took two out of three from the Giants back in the first week of April.