The St. Louis Cardinals have a shot at their first four-game winning streak in two months, but in order to achieve it, they'll likely need Shelby Miller to solve his recent home run troubles.
Miller looks for just his second win in 12 appearances Saturday night as St. Louis hosts the San Diego Padres.
Matt Adams and Jhonny Peralta were each 2 for 4 Friday night, backing a solid six-inning effort from Lance Lynn in a 4-2 victory over San Diego. Peralta is batting .382 over his last nine games with seven RBIs after previously batting .251 on the season.
The Cardinals (65-56) have won 20 of the last 24 meetings at Busch Stadium dating back to Aug. 8, 2007. Their starters own a 2.27 ERA while taking eight of the last nine there.
St. Louis hasn't won four straight overall since a season-best five-game winning streak from June 13-17, though this marks the fifth time they've won three in a row since that stretch.
Miller (8-9, 4.17 ERA) has struggled to limit home runs lately. He allowed five runs and eight hits - including two homers - over five innings of a 6-5 loss in Miami on Monday.
"Both of them were terrible, right over the middle of the plate," said MIller, who is 1-4 in his last 11 games.
The right-hander has conceded five home runs in 23 2-3 innings over his last four starts. He had given up as many over his previous 14 appearances, spanning 75 2-3 innings.
Miller is 1-1 with a 4.30 ERA in three games - two starts - against San Diego. He earned a 6-2 win on July 31, yielding two runs on homers by Jedd Gyorko and Will Venable.
After matching a season best with five straight wins, the Padres (57-64) have dropped two in a row to St. Louis. Though they scored a ninth-inning run in both games for a closer final margin, they're 3 for 18 with runners in scoring position in the series.
"These guys play hard," manager Bud Black said of the Cardinals. "They play all 54 outs and beyond at times. That's just the way we play. It's what we do."
San Diego hopes Jesse Hahn (7-3, 2.52) can curb his own issues with the long ball. The rookie won three straight starts from July 11-30 but is 0-1 in the last two with all six runs against him in those games coming on two homers.
Hahn gave up two homers in his big league debut versus Pittsburgh on June 3 but had gone eight straight starts without allowing one before the last two games.
The right-hander was sharp in a 12-1 victory over St. Louis on July 30, limiting the Cardinals to one run and four hits in a season best-matching seven innings in what manager Mike Matheny described as his club's "ugliest loss of the year."
The Padres cranked out 16 hits in that contest, with a combined 10 coming from Gyorko, Yangervis Solarte and Alexi Amarista.
Solarte missed his second straight game Friday due to a strained oblique and remains day to day.
Jon Jay is 9 for 19 during a seven-game hitting streak for St. Louis.