(SportsNetwork,com) - Michael Wacha will try to keep the St. Louis Cardinals' string of shutouts going when he takes on the Tampa Bay Rays Wednesday in the finale of a short two-game set at Tropicana Field.
Shelby Miller, Jaime Garcia and Adam Wainwright have pitched the Cardinals to three straight shutouts and Wainwright turned in a gem in Tuesday's 1-0 win for his ninth victory of the season. Wainwright threw seven scoreless innings for the Cardinals, who were coming off back-to-back 5-0 wins at Toronto.
Wainwright allowed seven hits, struck out two and walked two, and 58 of his 92 pitches went for strikes. His earned run average is now 2.15.
"We're pitching very well right now," Wainwright said. "We just have to keep that momentum going. Our starters take it upon ourselves to go deep into games."
Matt Holliday returned to the lineup and homered in the sixth inning, while Jhonny Peralta and Jon Jay had the other hits for the Cardinals, who have won three in a row and four of six games. The Cardinals have posted 13 shutouts this season.
Holliday was scratched from Sunday's lineup due to lower back tightness and showed no signs of fatigue against the Rays. Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong returned to the lineup after missing three games with a shoulder injury and was 0-for-4 at the plate.
St. Louis will close out its road trip Wednesday and is scheduled to play 10 in a row at Busch Stadium versus NL East foes Washington, New York and Philadelphia. But first Wacha gets the nod in Tampa looking to bounce back from a 3-2 loss at Kansas City last Thursday. Wacha gave up all three runs in six innings to fall to 4-4 with a 2.61 ERA.
Wacha, who was 2-0 in his previous five outings, is 0-4 in six road starts this season and has never faced the Rays.
Tampa Bay has been blanked in each of the past three games and hopes to get something going tonight. Jake Odorizzi pitched well in defeat on Tuesday and allowed Holliday's homer in 7 1/3 innings. He fanned five and walked one.
Kevin Kiermaier and James Loney had two hits apiece for the Rays, losers in four straight and 14 of the last 15 games. The Rays have been shut out 10 times this season and are scoreless in the past 28 innings.
"We are really snakebit right now. It's extremely frustrating," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "I thought Jake was really good. All of his stuff was working. It's pretty impressive what he did today."
The Rays have lost eight of their last nine games when their starting pitcher last six innings or more and Erik Bedard hopes to change that Wednesday. Bedard is 3-4 with a 3.61 earned run average and came out on top in Friday's 4-0 win over Seattle, as he delivered six scoreless innings and allowed four hits.
Bedard had lost his previous three starts and the Rays were winless in each of his last four appearances. He has faced St. Louis five times in his career, going 2-3 with a 5.60 ERA.
The Rays and Cardinals are meeting for the first time since 2011, when Tampa Bay won two of three meetings at the Trop.