Streaking Lynn leads Cardinals into finale vs. Reds

Streaking right-hander Lance Lynn can make it two straight wins against Cincinnati and five in a row on the season Wednesday when the St. Louis Cardinals close out a three-game series with the Reds at Busch Stadium.

An 18-game winner in his first full big-league season in 2012, Lynn opened 2013 with a no-decision at Arizona before reeling off wins in his next four starts and trimming his earned run average from a bloated 9.00 to a respectable 3.10.

A 5-1 win over the Reds was the first on his four-start streak and came after Lynn allowed just four hits and struck out 10 while giving up a single run in six innings.

He's followed the gem with three more triumphs, defeating Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and the Pirates again while combining to surrender 10 hits and five runs in 19 innings with 21 strikeouts.

Lynn is 2-0 at Busch this year and 11-5 there in 25 career outings.

He's countered by Texas-born righty Homer Bailey, who dropped a 10-0 verdict in St. Louis on April 10.

That loss, in which Bailey allowed nine hits and seven runs in five innings, dropped his career mark against St. Louis to 3-8 in 14 starts with a 5.52 ERA in 73 1/3 innings.

Bailey had beaten Washington in his initial 2013 start on April 5, but is 0-2 in four games since while giving up 23 hits and 10 runs in 26 innings.

He's 0-2 on the road this year and 0-4 in six career starts at Busch.

On Tuesday, Jaime Garcia pitched eight strong innings as Matt Holliday's two- run home run lifted the Cardinals to a 2-1 win.

Garcia (3-1) scattered seven hits and a run for St. Louis, which snapped a three-game skid and evened the three-game set with Cincinnati. Carlos Beltran went 3-for-4.

Bronson Arroyo (2-3) was solid as well despite the loss. Although he went without a strikeout for the first time since May 28, 2011, Arroyo needed just 78 pitches to get through seven innings. He allowed Holliday's homer.

"I can't complain about it," Arroyo said of his outing. "I pitched a great ballgame, but Garcia pitched a little bit better."

St. Louis won two of three games in an early April series at Busch Stadium and won eight of 15 games overall last season. The Reds last won the season series in 2011.