By Grant Braden
ForThe Cardinal Nation Show
(The Cardinal NationShow) --The Cardinals enter Wednesday riding a five game win streak and looking for their third series sweep of the season. They have been perfect against the Marlins thus far this year.
St. Louis was fueled last night by a solid start turned in by Kyle Lohse. Lohse made it into the eighth inning allowing only two runs on four hits. Offensively, Yadier Molina powered another home run, a three-run shot and his third in three games, while Jon Jay added two hits to send the Birds to a 5-2 win.
Rookie Joe Kelly is fishing for his second win in as many starts this evening. While he has not given up fewer than seven hits in his first three outtings, he got his first win last week against Kansas City.
This is actually Kelly's second appearance in the series. He was called on to pinch hit in the top of the 10th inning on Monday night with the bases loaded. What proved to be the game winning RBI, Kelly nudged a slow ground ball to the left side of the infield and beat it out for a single.
Anibal Sanchez will oppose Kelly and hopes to give life to a fainting ballclub. Sanchez is 0-3 though in his last four starts and Miami has lost seven of the last nine games he has started. He allowed six earned runs on seven hits in his last outting against the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Marlins lost both starts turned in by Sanchez against the Cardinals last year. He allowed three earned runs in each and a combined 14 hits.
The Marlins were tied for first in the NL East on June 3. Since that time they have gone 3-17 and now sit dead last. They are allowing nearly seven runs a game in the slump.
A few Cardinal hitters have had success against Sanchez in the past five years. Matt Holiday is 6 for 11 with two home runs, Carlos Beltran is 5 for 13 with a pair of RBIs and Yadier Molina is 3 for 9 with a home run.
First pitch is set for 6:10 tonight at Marlins Park.
- The Cardinals stand five games above the .500 mark with the win last night, the first time since May 28 when they were 27-22. It is also their first five game winning streak of the season.
- St. Louis remains two back in the Central behind first place Cincinnati. Pittsburgh is two and a half out. Milwaukee's ailing "brew crew"has them eight and a half back.
- A weekend series with the Pirates beginning Friday could give pivotal momentum heading into the All- Star Break that commences in 11 days.
- Speaking of the All-Star Break, Carlos Beltran and Rafael Furcal appear to be locked in as starters for the 83rd Mid Summer Classic. Catcher Yadier Molina trails the Giants' Buster Posey by a slim margin while Matt Holliday is sixth in votes for outfielders. The National League will be managed by Tony LaRussa, who is returning from retirement for the game.
- Matt Adams had three hits last night for the Memphis Redbirds in a 6-4 loss.