(SportsNetwork.com) - Ervin Santana puts his unblemished record on the line Friday when the Atlanta Braves begin a three-game series with the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium.
Santana showed no ill effects from the thumb injury that caused him to miss a turn earlier this month on Saturday against the Chicago Cubs, as he scattered five hits and struck out seven over seven scoreless innings to improve to a perfect 4-0 on the year, while lowering his ERA to 1.99. He also had to endure a rain delay that lasted an hour and seven minutes.
"Santana was terrific, better than terrific, really, when you throw in an hour-plus rain delay," Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "We were about five, 10 minutes from shutting him down. It was that long. He did a terrific job."
Santana has split his two starts against the Cards with a 4.73 ERA.
Atlanta enters this series on the heels of dropping two of three to the San Francisco Giants, including a 10-4 setback on Wednesday. Chris Johnson went 2- for-3 with two RBI and a run scored in the loss for the Braves, who had won three in a row before that series.
Julio Teheran (2-3) got the start for Atlanta and gave up five runs -- four earned -- on seven hits with five walks over 3 1/3 innings.
"He just had a tough time gripping the ball," Gonzalez said of Teheran. "I don't know if it was just a lack of humidity or he just couldn't get a good grip on it. He tried to battle through it and just couldn't get it done."
St. Louis, meanwhile, has won three of four after taking two of three from the Chicago Cubs. The Cardinals won Thursday's rubber match, as Michael Wacha earned his first win in more than a month in a 5-3 triumph.
Wacha (3-3), who also hit a two-run single, struck out five and surrendered two runs on seven hits over seven innings for the Cardinals, who are in the midst of a nine-game homestand. Trevor Rosenthal tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings to earn his 11th save of the season.
"I was able to pound the strike zone down in the zone and it was pretty effective," Wacha said.
Getting the call for the Cardinals on Friday will be righty Lance Lynn, who is 4-2 with a 3.83 ERA. Lynn, though, is winless in his last four starts and was defeated by Pittsburgh his last time out, as he surrendered four runs and nine hits in six innings.
All four of his runs came in the fourth inning of that one.
"That's a tough inning," Lynn said following the game. "You give up four runs with only one ball leaving the infield in the air. I thought I made some good pitches to get out of the inning, and it just didn't work out. That happens. There are going to be some games where I throw the ball right down the middle three straight times and I get three straight outs. Tonight it just didn't happen when I made my pitch."
Lynn is 1-2 in three starts versus the Braves with a 4.05 ERA.
St. Louis took two of three from the Braves earlier this season. The Cards have also won 10 of their last 14 at home against Atlanta.