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St. Louis at Philadelphia

Venue: Citizens Bank Park

The St. Louis Cardinals missed a chance to gain ground in the NL Central race behind their staff ace, and now they're looking to get back on track despite the inconsistencies of their next pitcher for this game Saturday night when they face the Philadelphia Phillies.

St. Louis (69-58) remained 1 1/2 games behind Milwaukee for the division lead following its 5-4 loss to Philadelphia and the Brewers' 8-3 setback to Pittsburgh as Adam Wainwright was unable to pick up his major league-leading 16th victory. The Cardinals had a four-game winning streak snapped and also lost for the fifth time in seven road games.

Shelby Miller (8-9, 4.25 ERA) has only shown the promise of his 15-win rookie campaign in 2013 in flashes over the course of his frustrating sophomore season. He has just one win in five starts since the All-Star break and was again plagued by control issues in his last outing.

The right-hander walked a career-high six and allowed four runs and four hits in six innings - squandering an early 4-0 lead - before leaving without a decision in the Cardinals' 9-5 loss to San Diego last Saturday. It was the seventh time he has issued at least four walks in a game, though manager Mike Matheny thinks the three scoreless innings Miller threw before exiting could be a foundation to build on Saturday.

"To his credit, that was one of the best we've seen him gather himself and come back up there for the next two because we needed it," Matheny told MLB.com. "At that point, we're still in the game, but obviously there is already a lot of damage done."

Miller, who lost to the Phillies at home on June 19 after yielding four runs and seven hits in 6 2-3 innings of a 4-1 defeat, will be making his first appearance at Citizens Bank Park. Chase Utley is 4 for 6 against him while Ryan Howard is 2 for 3 with a homer.

Philadelphia (57-71) improved to 3-1 on its nine-game homestand, rallying from an early three-run deficit as Ben Revere had three hits and Howard added two RBIs. Revere is 13 for 28 over his last six games, raising his average nine points to .315 to draw within two points of Justin Morneau for the NL lead.

David Buchanan (6-7, 4.25) has had similar ups and downs, though the right-hander could be forgiven some since he is a rookie. He has lost his last two starts, giving up six runs in 12 2-3 innings while the Phillies have provided him with four runs in those defeats.

San Francisco nicked Buchanan for three runs - two earned - in 6 2-3 innings in a 5-2 defeat Sunday. While it did mark the 13th time in as many starts he's pitched at least five innings since being promoted, Buchanan's frustrations with not getting the big out are mounting.

"I tried to keep us in the game. But I'm getting really tired of not finishing innings," he told MLB.com. "II have to figure something to get out of those innings and leave the bullpen alone for the seventh."

He got the best of Miller in June, limiting the Cardinals to one run and four hits in a season-best 7 2-3 innings.

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
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Probable Starters

S. Miller
St. Louis Last 3 Starts Philadelphia
0-1 Wins-Losses 1-2
18.0 Innings Pitched 19.0
5.00 Earned Run Average 3.79
9 Walks 2
14 Strikeouts 14
1.39 WHIP 1.26

D. Buchanan
Probable Pitchers
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
St. Louis2nd NL Central5647.5446 ½ 7-3 W 3
Philadelphia4th NL East4758.448154-6 L 1

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Series Game Log
May 10ATLPHI 3-2Morgan Wisler 
May 11ATLATL 5-1Perez Eickhoff 
May 12ATLPHI 7-4Bailey Grilli 
May 20PHIATL 7-1Wisler Nola 
May 21PHIATL 2-0Perez Morgan 
May 22PHIPHI 5-0Eickhoff Kelly 
Jul 4PHIPHI 8-2Eickhoff De La Cruz 
Jul 5PHIPHI 5-1Eflin Foltynewicz 
Jul 6PHIPHI 4-3Neris Vizcaino 
Jul 28ATLPHI 7-5Nola Wisler 
Jul 29ATLATL 2-1Jenkins Velasquez 
Jul 30ATL 7:10 PM EDT  
Jul 31ATL 1:35 PM EDT  
Sep 2PHI 7:05 PM EDT  
Sep 3PHI 7:05 PM EDT  
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Sep 27ATL 7:10 PM EDT  
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