(Sports Network) - The St. Louis Cardinals aim for their fifth straight win and a four-game sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers when the two storied franchises close out their series today at Busch Stadium.
St. Louis' last four-game sweep of the Dodgers occurred from July 13-16, 2006 in the Gateway City. The Cardinals have outscored the Dodgers, 17-5, in the first three portions of this series and are coming off Saturday's 2-0 victory behind Adam Wainwright's 14th win of the season. Wainwright threw six shutout innings to improve to 10-0 in 10 starts at home and Ryan Franklin got the final out of the game for his 17th save.
"For the starting pitchers, working and sweating, for Wainwright to go six innings out there on three days' rest. That was clutch and outstanding," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said.
Skip Schumaker and Brendan Ryan had an RBI apiece, while Albert Pujols finished 0-for-3 with a run scored for St. Louis, which is still a half-game behind Cincinnati for the NL Central lead and will welcome Philadelphia to Busch Stadium for four games after this set with LA.
Cardinals starter Jeff Suppan is still in search of his first win of the season and will handle pitching duties this afternoon. Suppan was 0-2 in 15 games (2 starts) with Milwaukee before being picked up by St. Louis, and is 0-3 with a 4.88 earned run average in five starts with his new club.
The right-hander has lost three straight trips to the hill and previously performed on July 10 in a 4-1 setback at Houston. Suppan gave up four runs and seven hits in 4 2/3 innings of work to fall to 0-5 overall this season. He hasn't posted a decision in two relief appearances against the Dodgers this season.
Suppan is 4-4 with a 4.02 ERA in 12 lifetime meetings (10 starts) with LA.
Los Angeles hopes to salvage the finale of this series after losing the first three installments. Hiroki Kuroda was dealt the tough-luck loss last night and allowed one run and four hits in six innings with eight strikeouts.
Rafael Furcal and Blake DeWitt had two hits apiece, and slugger Manny Ramirez missed the game with an injured calf. Catcher Russell Martin also did not play Saturday due to a balky thumb and both players are day-to-day.
"You've got to give Wainwright a lot of credit," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "He gets you in a situation where he's got so many weapons."
Torre will hand the ball to streaking starter Vicente Padilla today and he has won three consecutive starts. He previously won on Sunday in a 7-0 blanking of the Chicago Cubs, as Padilla delivered eight shutout innings and six strikeouts to improve to 4-2 in nine starts with a 4.04 ERA.
Padilla, 1-1 in five road starts this season, will face St. Louis for the first time in 2010. He is 2-1 with a 3.68 ERA in seven career games, three of which have been starts, against the Cardinals.
The Dodgers, who are 4 1/2 games off the NL West lead, swept a three-game set at home versus the Cardinals from June 7-9 after losing five of seven to the club last season.