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St. Louis at Arizona

Venue: Chase Field

Mired in their longest losing streak of the season, the St. Louis Cardinals aren't about to panic.

The Cardinals look to avoid a fifth consecutive loss when they open a three-game road series with the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday night.

St. Louis (33-27) had won seven of nine and was on the verge of sweeping Milwaukee at home Sunday, but dropped the finale with Brewers, then suffered a three-game sweep at Los Angeles.

Despite the fact they're seeking to avoid losing five in a row for the first time since June 5-9 of last season, the Cardinals don't seem too concerned.

"We're (1 1/2 games) out of first place and we haven't played close to the way we can or will play," pitcher Adam Wainwright told the Cardinals' official website. "I'd say we're in good shape."

They're often in good shape in Arizona, where they've won four of six against the Diamondbacks (24-37). St. Louis scored 20 runs when it took two of three at Chase Field from April 19-21.

In order to have another successful visit, the Cardinals will likely need better production from stars like Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday than they got against the Dodgers. The pair went 2 for 21 versus Los Angeles as St. Louis totaled seven runs in that series.

Pujols went 2 for 12 with a homer at Arizona in April, and is 0 for 8 against Diamondbacks scheduled starter Rodrigo Lopez (2-4, 4.27 ERA). Holliday has fared better against the right-hander, going 3 for 7 with two doubles and a homer.

Lopez is 2-1 with a 5.25 ERA in four starts against St. Louis. He allowed two runs in seven innings, but didn't factor in the decision of a 4-2 loss to the Cardinals on April 19.

Lopez will try to avoid a third consecutive loss overall. He gave up three runs in seven innings of a 3-2 loss to major league wins and ERA leader Ubaldo Jimenez and Colorado on Sunday.

The Cardinals hope rookie Jaime Garcia (5-2, 1.47) can help end their skid. Garcia, who hasn't lost since May 8, is 3-2 with a 1.73 ERA in six road starts.

"He's consistently effective," manager Tony La Russa said. "At times, and this is a testament to his potential, guys haven't lit him up. He's hung in there."

La Russa, however, feels the 23-year-old left-hander can pitch better after giving up three runs in six innings in consecutive starts. He'd yielded two runs or fewer in eight of his previous nine outings.

"It was one of those nights," La Russa said after Garcia's last start, a 4-3, 10-inning loss to Milwaukee on Sunday. "We have to identify why he wasn't quite as sharp."

The Diamondbacks, who have never faced Garcia, will try to bounce back from Thursday's 11-7 loss to Atlanta.

Kelly Johnson drove in three runs and Chris Young hit his 10th home run, but Arizona fell to 4-3 since returning home after a season-high 10-game skid.

Last in the NL West, the Diamondbacks struck out a season-high 16 times to increase their major league-leading total to 570.

"We're long past it being a concern,. The more we talk about it, the more it happens, I think," manager A.J. Hinch said.

Johnson, batting .359 in his last 10 games against the Cardinals, is 11 for 27 with seven RBIs in his last seven games overall.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Probable Starters

Jaime Garcia, LHP
2010 stats
67.1 Innings Pitched 78.0
5-2 Wins-Losses 2-4
1.47 Earned Run Average 4.27
29 Walks 22
55 Strikeouts 45
97 Pitches Per Start 97
Career vs. opponent
- Innings Pitched 24.0
--- Wins-Losses 2-1
- Earned Run Average 5.25

Rodrigo Lopez, RHP
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
St. Louis2nd NL Central7161.5381 ½ 6-4 L 2
Arizona4th NL West5578.41420 ½ 2-8 L 3
vs Rodrigo Lopez
vs Jaime Garcia
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Game Odds
St. Louis -130 Arizona 120
St. Louis
M. EllisOblique
J. GarciaShoulder
Y. MolinaThumb
S. RobinsonShoulder
M. WachaShoulder
B. ArroyoElbow
E. ChavezKnee
P. CorbinElbow
P. GoldschmidtFinger
D. HernandezElbow
D. HudsonElbow
C. OwingsShoulder
J. PachecoShoulder
A. PollockHand
M. ReynoldsElbow
C. RossCalf
Series Game Log
Apr 4COLCOL 12-2Nicasio Delgado 
Apr 5COLCOL 9-4Kahnle McCarthy 
Apr 6COLARI 5-3Miley Anderson 
Apr 28ARICOL 8-5Morales Miley 
Apr 29ARICOL 5-4Logan Reed 
Apr 30ARIARI 5-4Reed Kahnle 
Jun 3COLARI 4-2Anderson De La Rosa 
Jun 4COLARI 16-8Ziegler Brothers 
Jun 5COLARI 12-7Arroyo Nicasio 
Aug 8ARIARI 5-3Anderson Matzek 
Aug 9ARIARI 14-4Cahill De La Rosa 
Aug 10ARICOL 5-3Belisle Perez 
Aug 29ARI 9:40 PM EDT  
Aug 30ARI 8:10 PM EDT  
Aug 31ARI 4:10 PM EDT  
Sep 18COL 8:40 PM EDT  
Sep 19COL 8:10 PM EDT  
Sep 20COL 4:10 PM EDT  
Sep 21COL 4:10 PM EDT