(SportsNetwork.com) - Adam Wainwright's earned run average is the lowest by a Cardinals pitcher at this point of the season since 1969 when Hall of Famer Steve Carlton was pitching for St. Louis.
The Cardinals right-hander takes another shot at efficiency Saturday afternoon and may forge a tie atop the NL Central as St. Louis battles the first-place Milwaukee Brewers in the second installment of a three-game series.
Wainwright's ERA of 1.79 is currently a notch below Clayton Kershaw (1.78) of the Los Angeles Dodgers for the best in the majors and he has pitched shutout ball over his last two starts. That has covered 14 2/3 innings, but he didn't get a decision Monday against Pittsburgh.
He's 9-6 with a 2.17 ERA in 26 games (19 starts) versus Milwaukee.
The surging Cardinals have won four of their last five contests, including last night's dramatic 7-6 victory at Miller Park, as Matt Holliday hit a two- out, solo home run in the top of the ninth inning.
The Cardinals erased a six-run deficit and grabbed the lead on Holliday's third extra-base hit of the game. Holliday, who also had two doubles, drove the first pitch he saw from Francisco Rodriguez (3-3) to left field.
Trevor Rosenthal worked around a leadoff single in the bottom of the ninth to earn his 28th save of the season. Pat Neshek (4-0) picked up the win after recording the final out in the seventh with men on the corners and tossing a scoreless eighth.
St. Louis closed to within a game of the NL Central-leading Brewers, who suffered a season-worst sixth straight loss. Milwaukee has dropped 10 of its last 11 overall.
The Cardinals activated right-hander Joe Kelly from the 60-day disabled list to start on Friday, but he didn't last long as he was chased after three innings.
Jimmy Nelson makes his Miller Park debut for the Brewers this afternoon. The right-hander was recalled to take the spot of lefty Wei-Chung Wang, who was put on the disabled list Friday due to left shoulder tightness. Nelson made his 2014 debut May 25 in a 7-1 win at Miami when he allowed five hits and no runs over 5 2/3 innings.
St. Louis won 14 of 19 versus the Brewers last season, winning eight of 10 in Milwaukee. The Cardinals hold a 7-6 edge this year.