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Cardinals Return To NL Central For Series Against Brewers

(Sports Network) - The St. Louis Cardinals are once again on the outside looking in when it comes to the National League Central Division. Tonight they'll open a four-game series with the rival Milwaukee Brewers at Busch Stadium.

The Cardinals entered Wednesday's action in first place by a half-game over Cincinnati, but exchanged positions with the Reds after dropping a 4-2 decision to close out a three-game home series with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Cincinnati beat Philadelphia, 4-3, to regain the top spot.

Arizona's Chris Young hit a two-run homer and Barry Enright picked up a win in his major league debut, while St. Louis veteran Jeff Suppan (0-4) remains winless on the season after allowing four runs -- three earned -- on nine hits and three walks in 5 2/3 innings for St. Louis.

Matt Holliday and Jason LaRue both knocked in a run for the Cardinals, who had won three of four coming in.

Milwaukee, meanwhile, sits on the fringes of contention in third place, trailing the Reds by 8 1/2 games after Chris Johnson went 4-for-4 with a two- run double and Wandy Rodriguez threw seven strong innings in Houston's 5-1 win in the rubber match of a three-game set at Miller Park.

Jonathan Lucroy drove in the lone run for the Brewers, who won seven of nine coming in.

Dave Bush (3-6) was tagged with the loss for yielding two runs on five hits with five walks in six innings. The righty finished with three strikeouts.

Journeyman right-hander Blake Hawksworth, who was drafted in 2001 but didn't reach the majors for eight years, makes the third start of his big-league career for St. Louis.

The 27-year-old Canadian export was 4-0 in 30 relief outings for the Cardinals last season and has come in from the bullpen 21 times in 23 appearances this year.

He was ripped for seven hits and six runs in a 12-4 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 7 in California, then earned a win after allowing just two hits and one earned run in five innings of a 5-3 triumph at Kansas City on June 26.

The native of North Vancouver, B.C. tossed three scoreless innings over two relief outings against Milwaukee in April and is 1-0 with eight scoreless innings to his credit in six lifetime matchups.

The Brewers counter with veteran left-hander Randy Wolf, who'll make the 13th start of his career against St. Louis.

The 33-year-old is 3-6 lifetime against the Cardinals, including an 8-0 loss in St. Louis on June 4 in which he allowed six hits and five runs in 6 2/3 innings.

Wolf has lost two of three decisions since, including a 5-4 verdict to Seattle on June 26.

The Pepperdine University product is 3-4 in eight road starts in 2010.

St. Louis has won four of six matchups with Milwaukee this season after both teams split 18 meetings a year ago.