ST. LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 5: Jon Jay #19 of the St. Louis Cardinals scores on a triple by Daniel Descalso #33 as Jonathan Lucroy #20 of the Milwaukee Brewers leaps for the ball at Busch Stadium on August 5, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images)
In the midst of a close wild card race, the Cardinals will have to slow the hot Brewers to stay ahead of the Dodgers and Pirates.
Four straight losses to finish the month of August jeopardized the playoff chances of the Cardinals, but they bounced back relatively well with back-to-back wins against the New York Mets. Regardless, the wild card lead is slim for St. Louis as they carry 1.5-game leads over both the Pittsburgh Pirates and Los Angeles Dodgers.
With just 25 games left, every one is crucial including Friday's against the Milwaukee Brewers in the last series between the two NL Central teams in 2012. The Brewers are a hot-team, though, having won 13 of their last 16 games, although they still have plenty of climbing to do to get into playoff contention as they are still under .500 for the season.
It will be up to the Cardinals' ace, Kyle Lohse, to slow down the Brewers on Friday night, as he looks to become the sixth pitcher in the National League to win 15 games in 2012. His 2.81 ERA is fourth in the NL and makes him one of nine NL pitchers with an ERA under 3.00.
The Brewers will have a top guy on the mound as well, though, as Yovani Gallardo will get the start also looking for win 15. Gallardo has not lost in a start since July 26 and earned the win in each of his five starts in August. He escaped without a decision in his last start, though, allowing seven runs and 11 hits before getting pulled in the fifth.
Friday's game at Busch Stadium is scheduled to start at 7:15 p.m. CT and will be televised on Fox Sports Midwest and Fox Sports Wisconsin.
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