ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates had better sleep quick before they start their four-game series Monday in Busch Stadium.
While St. Louis (43-38) survived a 3-hour, 48-minute ordeal, plus 2 hours and 15 minutes of rain delays Sunday to earn a 9-8 win over Milwaukee, Pittsburgh (41-41) polished off a sweep at Oakland with a 6-3 decision.
The Pirates then got into town late Sunday night, losing two hours to the clock on their flight from the Bay Area. But after extending their winning streak to four games, they're feeling pretty good about making the trip.
"It's huge, especially to come from behind three games in a row on the road," rookie left fielder Adam Frazier said. "It's pretty big. It's huge momentum heading east to St. Louis."
Frazier was a big part of Sunday's win, going 2-for-4. His triple in the sixth inning tied the game at 3 and he later scored the go-ahead run as Pittsburgh swept the Athletics for the first time.
The Pirates will try to gain revenge for the sweep they suffered at the Cardinals' hands last month in PNC Park. St. Louis, which lost five of its first six meetings to Pittsburgh, outscored it by a combined 22-7 in winning all three games of that series.
That included a 5-1 verdict on June 11 that saw Carlos Martinez come within two outs of his first big league complete game. Martinez (7-5, 2.83), who's pitched to an earned run average of 1.06 over his last six starts, takes the ball Monday.
He'll be opposed by left-hander Jonathon Niese (6-6, 5.07), who's 0-1 in two starts against the Cardinals this year. Niese was tagged for all eight runs on June 12 in an 8-3 loss, giving up homers to Matt Holliday and Randal Grichuk.
While both teams are still looking up at the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central, St. Louis made up three games in as many days over the weekend, thanks to the Cubs being swept at the New York Mets. The Cardinals start Monday eight games back, the closest they've been since May 25.
"It's good, but we're taking it day-by-day," St. Louis right fielder Stephen Piscotty said. "There's still plenty of time."
Piscotty was the star of Sunday's win, belting his second grand slam of the year in the sixth inning to highlight a 3-for-4 day. Piscotty has been deadly with the bases loaded during his first season in the big leagues. Dating back to July 22, 2015, he's 8-for-15 with 18 RBI in that spot.
The Pirates are hopeful of getting center fielder Andrew McCutchen back Monday. He sat out Sunday with a heel injury and manager Clint Hurdle said the team wanted to rest McCutchen ahead of this series and a weekend visit from the Cubs.
On Tuesday night, the Cardinals send Mike Leake (5-6, 4.13) to the mound against rookie Jameson Taillon (2-1, 3.86). Lefties Jaime Garcia (6-6, 3.84) and Pittsburgh's Jeff Locke (8-5, 5.13) match up Wednesday night, while St. Louis' Adam Wainwright (7-5, 4.70) meets rookie Chad Kuhl (1-0, 4.09) in Thursday's series finale.