Kyle Lohse has been dominating at Busch Stadium this year, and continuing that trend could give the St. Louis Cardinals some momentum heading into a big weekend series.
Lohse will try to win his fifth straight decision in St. Louis on Thursday night when the Cardinals finish their series with the Arizona Diamondbacks .
St. Louis continues to play well at home, winning 15 of 18 there, including a 5-2 win Wednesday.
Solid pitching has been key to the success at home, as the Cardinals (64-53) have given up two or fewer runs in 12 of those games, including the last two.
After rookie Joe Kelly pitched into the seventh on Tuesday, Adam Wainwright went six innings Wednesday, backed by a two-run homer from David Freese in the fourth and a solo shot by Allen Craig in the fifth.
St. Louis, which is 5-0 against Arizona this season and won seven straight in the series, is tied with three teams for the two NL wild-card spots - including Pittsburgh, which visits St. Louis this weekend.
"If anyone knows, we know a lot of stuff can happen in a month-and-a-half," closer Jason Motte said. "We've got to come out tomorrow ready to go, ready to handle business."
The Cardinals will try to keep things going behind Lohse (12-2, 2.72 ERA) as he looks to continue his winning ways at Busch Stadium.
Lohse is 6-1 with a 2.40 ERA in 11 starts in St. Louis this year. He's given up two or fewer runs in five straight starts there.
The right-hander was also effective on the road Friday, when he allowed one run and four hits while striking out a season-high seven in seven innings of a 3-1 loss at Philadelphia without getting a decision.
"Everything was working for him," manager Mike Matheny said. "He pitched seven solid innings. You couldn't ask for more."
Lohse is 3-2 with a 5.03 ERA versus Arizona. He went five innings against them May 9, surrendering one run and seven hits in a 7-2 victory.
While Lohse has been outstanding at home, the Diamondbacks' Trevor Cahill (9-10, 3.85) has pitched well on the road, going 5-4 with a 2.88 ERA.
Cahill, who has a 4.97 ERA at home, wasn't as sharp his last time out at home, giving up four runs and two homers in six innings of a 9-1 loss to Washington last Friday.
"It was one of those nights," Cahill told the Diamondbacks' official website. "I made a couple mistakes and they made me pay for it."
The right-hander's only appearance against the Cardinals was in 2010 with Oakland. He allowed two solo homers in six innings of a 3-2 win, but didn't factor in the decision.
The Diamondbacks (58-59) have lost eight of 11, hitting .215 in that span while being held to two or fewer runs five times. They are 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position in this series."It's been frustrating. We've played some games we could have won and we're not taking advantage of that right now," Chris Johnson said after going 0 for 3. "We just need to relax, stay calm, and I think we'll be all right."
Arizona is six games back in the wild card.
|August 14, 2012||Takashi Saito||15-Day DL||Strained left hamstring|
|August 09, 2012||Willie Bloomquist||15-Day DL||Lower back stiffness|
|August 09, 2012||Josh Collmenter||15-Day DL||Ulcers|
|August 06, 2012||Henry Blanco||15-Day DL||Sprained left thumb|
|July 09, 2012||Wil Nieves||15-Day DL||Turf toe, right foot|
|June 27, 2012||Daniel Hudson||15-Day DL||Right foream tightness|
|St. Louis Cardinals|
|August 08, 2012||Allen Craig||Day-to-Day||Sore ribs|
|August 03, 2012||Lance Berkman||15-Day DL||Right knee inflammation|
|July 28, 2012||Rafael Furcal||Day-to-Day||Stiff back|
|July 26, 2012||David Freese||Day-to-Day||Left game - right calf cramp|
|July 24, 2012||Lance Berkman||Day-to-Day||Left game - HBP right knee|
|July 17, 2012||Matt Holliday||Day-to-Day||Left game - Left thigh|
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Paul Goldschmidt showed the way, and Chris Young followed.
Goldschmidt and Young homered on consecutive pitches from Jason Motte with one out in the ninth inning, leading the Arizona Diamondbacks over the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 Thursday night.
With St. Louis ahead 1-0 on Allen Craig 's RBI single in the fifth, Motte (4-4) struck out Miguel Montero leading off the ninth. Goldschmidt, who hit a 456-foot homer in Wednesday's 5-2 loss, fouled off three full-count pitches, then drove the ninth pitch of the at-bat to center for his 18th home run this season.
"Any time you've got two strikes, you have to battle, especially against one of the best closers in the league," Goldschmidt said. "They're going to get you more than you get them. Luckily, it worked out."
Young sent the next pitch over the left-field wall for his 12th homer.
"I was just trying to make it happen," Young said. "Motte is a power pitcher, and you know he's going to be around the plate. I tried to be aggressive and keep my composure."
Young said he simply parlayed the momentum from Goldschmidt's homer into the go-ahead drive.
"Goldie came through huge for us and kind of took the pressure off me," Young said. "At that point, for me, it was just go out and try to win the ballgame."
David Hernandez (2-2) pitched a perfect eighth, and J.J. Putz finished with a 1-2-3 ninth for his 14th consecutive save and 23rd in 27 chances overall.
Arizona had lost its previous seven games against St. Louis dating to last season.
Motte blew a save for the fifth time in 32 chances. He gave up a two-out double to Jake Elmore before being removed for only the fourth time this season.
"Just didn't do my job tonight," Motte said. "I felt fine."
St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said Motte ran up against a hot hitter.
"It was a pretty good at-bat Goldschmidt put together," Matheny said. "He fought off good pitches and figured out some timing against him by being able to stay alive. You haven't seen too much of that from Jason. He's been very good this season."
In a game that started 1 hour, 25 minutes late because of rain, Arizona's Trevor Cahill allowed one run and five hits in six innings with four strikeouts and one walk. The Cardinals' Kyle Lohse gave up four hits and three walks in 6 2-3 innings, striking out five. He lowered his ERA to 2.61, third-best in the NL.
St. Louis went ahead in the fifth after Rafael Furcal led off with an infield single, Lohse grounded into a forceout and Cahill hit Jon Jay with a two-strike pitch. Craig followed with his 62nd RBI of the season.
Arizona threatened in the fourth. Aaron Hill walked but was thrown out by catcher Tony Cruz trying to steal second, completing a double play as Justin Upton struck out. Montero singled and Goldschmidt walked, but Lohse struck out Young.
Arizona hit consecutive homers for the third time this season. The Diamondback had scored just four runs over the first 26 innings of the series.
"It's been a slow go for us, and we were getting shut out again," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. "We had good life tonight. Guys were upbeat right until the end and good things happened."
NOTES: St. Louis C Yadier Molina missed his second straight game because of lower back tightness. He is day to day. ... Arizona SS Jake Elmore got his first major league hit with a single in the seventh inning and finished 2 for 4. He was doused by teammates in the locker room after the game... The Diamondbacks have played 10 successive games against teams with winning records and are 4-6. ... St. Louis hosts Pittsburgh on Friday in the opener of a three-game series. Jake Westbrook (12-8) will face James McDonald (10-5). Arizona travels to Houston for a three-game series that will conclude a six-game trip. Wade Miley (12-8) takes on Dallas Keuchel (1-4).