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STL@PIT: Lynn hurls seven innings of one-run ball

The Cardinals were off to a red-hot start when they went to Wrigley Field to begin a three-game series. The Cubs, meanwhile, were struggling to find an elusive series victory.

Well, thus far the Cubs have walked off with that series victory, and after winning the first two games in dramatic fashion, they are hoping the new-found momentum carries into what would be their first sweep of the arch-rival Cards since September 2010.

After two walk-off wins to start the series, the Cubs will have to contend with Cardinals righty Lance Lynn, who is off to one of the best starts in baseball at 3-0 with a 1.42 ERA.

The 24-year-old righty has confused hitters by mixing up pitch sequences, and his aggressive approach continues to allow him to work deep into games. Lynn was the first Cardinals pitcher to record three wins this season and on Wednesday, in his first appearance at Wrigley Field, he's looking to become the first to reach four.

Cubs righty Chris Volstad, looking for his first win of the season, takes the mound opposite Lynn. Volstad hasn't won a game since July 10, when he was with the Marlins. He faced the Cardinals earlier in the season, allowing four runs in six innings in a losing effort.

Lynn will have to contend with Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday, who appears to be turning a corner after a rough start to the season. Holliday is hitting just .215, but he hit a crucial homer on Tuesday night after going 2-for-3 on Monday.

"I've seen it coming for a while," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "You can tell his timing's getting real close. It's a good thing for him to get a couple games of results, even if they're bloops. He deserves them. If this game all equals out like they say it does, he's due for some cheap ones."

Cardinals: Matheny confident in 'pen
• Matheny has put a lot of faith in his bullpen this season. Jaime Garcia's 7 2/3 innings on Monday were the most by a St. Louis starter. The biggest reason for being conservative with his rotation, Matheny said, is what his deep bullpen brings to the table.

"A lot has to do with your confidence in your bullpen," Matheny said. "We haven't been killing these guys and they've been doing a great job. [Until] we get to that spot where thay may be getting one, tired, and two, over-exposed to certain hitters, I don't see that changing."

But the bullpen has blown leads each of the last two nights for Matheny, whose Cards sit four games above .500 at 11-7.

• Dating back to last season, the Cardinals had won 13 consecutive series until Tuesday night. That number included a game in Miami to start the 2012 campaign, but it didn't include any of their playoff victories from last October.

The last NL team to win 14 straight series was the 1993 Braves.

Cubs: Power outage ends
• The Cubs' nine game homerless drought started and ended with first baseman Bryan LaHair.

After a grand slam on April 13 in St. Louis, Chicago didn't go deep until LaHair's ninth-inning game-tying blast. It ended the Cubs' longest streak without a homer since a 10-game stretch in 2007.

"We have to do a lot of other things besides hit home runs," manager Dale Sveum said before Tuesday's game. "Slugging percentage is more than just hitting home runs. It's driving balls in the gap when guys are on, it's pulling the ball down the line. Slugging percentage is more important than the home runs."

• The Cubs notched their first home series win since taking two of three from Milwaukee last Sept. 19-21.

Worth noting
• Both Yadier Molina and Holliday have six hits in 14 career at-bats against Volstad, good enough for a .429 average against the Cubs right-hander.

• Joe Mather's walk-off single on Monday made him the first former Cardinals player to have a walk-off RBI for the Cubs against St. Louis since Jerry Morales on Sept. 22, 1981. Comments