(SportsNetwork.com) - Adam Wainwright tries to become the major leagues' first 15-game winner on Sunday when the St. Louis Cardinals close out a four-game series with the San Diego Padres at Busch Stadium.
Wainwright, though, has lost two of his last three starts after falling to Miami on Tuesday. He gave up three runs and seven hits - including a rare home run - in seven innings of that one and fell to 14-7 on the year to go along with a 2.34 ERA.
"I'm just never thinking someone's gonna hit a home run off me," said Wainwright, who entered the game with a home run rate of 0.28 per nine innings. "And he made a good swing. That ball was 10 feet foul and it came back fair. It was just the craziest ball flight I've ever seen."
Wainwright has faced the Padres 10 times (7 starts) and is 5-2 against them with a 1.47 ERA.
San Diego will counter with Cuban phenom Odrisamer Despaigne, who was magnificent his last time out. After losing three straight decisions Despaigne bounced back on Tuesday against Colorado, as he scattered five hits and struck out a career-high eight over seven scoreless innings to run his record to 3-3, while lowering his ERA to 2.72.
"That's more like what we saw the first couple starts out of Odrisamer," said Padres manager Bud Black. "Better use of the fastball, more conviction with the fastball. And that set up the other pitches."
Despaigne hadn't won since June 29, and had given up 15 runs (12 earned) in his last three starts spanning 15 innings (7.20 ERA) since flirting with a no- hit bid on July 20 against the Mets.
One of those poor outings came in a loss to St. Louis on July 31 when he was tagged for six runs in 5 2/3 innings in his only other start against it.
On Saturday, Jedd Gyorko had a grand slam and drove in five runs to help San Diego to a 9-5 win.
Just prior to a one hour and 47 minute rain delay, the Cardinals led 5-4 when Gyorko's blast gave the Padres their first lead of the game.
Abraham Almonte started the rally with a bunt single. Seth Smith had a base hit and Yasmani Grandal walked to load the bags for Gyorko. The young third baseman's second grand slam of the season made it 8-5. Kevin Siegrist (1-3) lasted just two-thirds of an inning and was charged with all four seventh- inning runs.
Neither starter fared well in this one. Jesse Hahn gave up five runs in 5 2/3 innings for San Diego, while Cardinals starter Shelby Miller walked a career- high six batters and gave up four runs in six innings.
Alex Torres (2-1) picked up the win for finishing the sixth. The Padres have won six of eight.
San Diego took two of three from the Cards in late July.