Wainwright eyes 14th win as Cards visit Braves

Adam Wainwright goes after his National League-leading 14th victory on Friday night when the St. Louis Cardinals open a three-game set in Atlanta in a battle of division leaders.

Wainwright was a first-round pick of the Braves in 2000 but was traded to the Cardinals in December, 2003, before he even appeared in a major league game. He's thrived with the Cardinals as a two-time World Series champion and two- time All-Star and is 6-1 with a 2.98 ERA in 10 games (7 starts) versus the club that drafted him.

The right-hander, who was born in Brunswick, GA, is 3-0 with a 2.35 ERA in four career appearances (3 starts) at Turner Field.

Wainwright is 3-0 in his last five starts overall. That includes a home win over San Diego on Sunday when he limited the Padres to eight hits and a pair of runs over eight frames. Additionally, Wainwright is 8-1 on the road this year. He's won his last eight road decisions since a season-opening defeat at Arizona on April 1.

The Cardinals come into tonight with a 2 1/2-game lead on Pittsburgh in the NL Central. They just swept the Phillies in a three-game set at Busch Stadium.

"We don't pay attention to that," Cardinals second baseman Matt Carpenter said of the standings. "We know what we're doing and where we stand, what our record is because it's on the scoreboard every day. You can't control what other teams do."

Last night, Lance Lynn pitched seven strong innings in a 3-1 victory. Lynn (12-5) gave up just one run on five hits with four walks and six strikeouts to snap a two-start losing streak for the Cardinals, who have won four straight and six of seven. Carpenter and Jon Jay each drove in a run and scored once, while Matt Adams added an RBI in the win.

The NL East-leading Braves suffered a 7-4 loss to the New York Mets at Citi Field yesterday afternoon.

Dan Uggla and Freddie Freeman both homered off Zack Wheeler, but the Braves lost for the fourth time in six games. Yet, their lead in the NL East stands at eight games over Philadelphia and Washington.

"I thought Wheeler threw well. He made one mistake to me and one mistake to Freddie and that was really it," Uggla said.

Fellow rookie Alex Wood, making his second career start, failed to last five frames for Atlanta. The 22-year-old allowed four runs on eight hits and two walks in 4 1/3 innings.

Although Mike Minor has a 1-3 mark over his last seven starts, the Braves lefty has yet to lose in consecutive appearances this season. Minor aims to bounce back from a 3-1 road defeat to the Chicago White Sox Sunday. He pitched eight innings in that game and allowed five hits and three runs -- two earned -- and had eight strikeouts.

The Cardinals have roughed up Minor in his two career starts, but he doesn't have a decision to go with his 9.31 ERA.

This is the first of seven meetings this season. The Braves won the 2012 season series, 5-1.