The Cardinals have not lost a series to the Brewers in more than two years, but Milwaukee will look to change that when it kicks off a three-game series with the Redbirds at Busch Stadium on Friday.
Since Milwaukee took two out of three on the road in April 2014, 25 of the past 38 games played between the National League Central opponents have gone St. Louis' way. In recent history, the Cardinals have taken two out of three games in both series played between the two teams this season. St. Louis is outscoring the Brewers, 38-13, across the six games.
The Cards could also regain the services of two key bats in the lineup. Stephen Piscotty bruised his left ankle on Wednesday sliding after a ball in right field and wasn't in the starting lineup on Thursday. Rookie Aledmys Diaz could return to his starting shortstop spot on Friday after fouling a ball off his right eye on Monday.
Matt Garza will take the mound for his fourth start of the season for the Brewers. The right-hander displayed good command in each of his first two starts, but he surrendered three walks, 10 baserunners and four runs over six innings while picking up the win in his last start.
Jaime Garcia is scheduled to start for the Cardinals. The left-hander gave up five runs over 5 2/3 innings in his last start and posted a 5.40 ERA and a 1.77 WHIP with a .347 batting average against over five starts in June. Garcia made his best start of the season, however, against the Brewers on April 14, when he threw a one-hit shutout.
Things to know about this game
• Garza's season-high pitch count in a game is 87 (June 14), but look for the Brewers to be willing to stretch out that total on Friday. Garza missed the first two months of the season with a right lat strain, and he said after his last start that he felt strong enough to go deeper in a game.
• Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun is batting .365 with a 1.081 OPS and a 181 wRC+ against left-handed pitchers this season, but Garcia has had the six-time All-Star's number in his career. Braun is 13-for-57 (.228) with five extra-base hits, two walks and nine strikeouts against Garcia.
• Look for Jhonny Peralta to be in the St. Louis lineup Friday. In his career against Garza, he is 17-for-37 (.459) with two homers and five RBIs. In 15 at-bats against Garza, Matt Adams has a 1.429 OPS.