St. Louis pitchers allowed three runs or fewer in nine of 14 games in July, yet boasted just a 7-7 record in those games entering their series against a Cubs team that hadn't lost any of its previous six series.
With some help from an offense that's gaining momentum, the Cardinals now have the opportunity to sweep a once-streaking Cubs club, which has been outscored, 16-1, in the series.
"The starters have been pretty consistent all season," said Cardinals manager Mike Matheny. "We had that short run in probably early June when the guys weren't used to the four days' rest -- that was one little stint. But for the most part, I think they've been pretty consistent."
Both pitchers in the series finale have fared well against their opponent. Chicago's Travis Wood is 2-0 with a 2.33 ERA in three career starts against the Cardinals, while Lance Lynn is 2-0 with a 1.17 ERA against the Cubs.
Wood was riding a four-game winning streak before allowing eight runs in 4 2/3 innings against the Marlins in his last outing.
Lynn last faced the Cubs on April 25, allowing one run in eight innings at Wrigley Field. He also enters his start having surrendered just one run in his last two games, spanning 13 innings.
Cardinals hitters seem to always find their stroke for Lynn, who leads the National League with an average of 6.63 runs of support.
Cubs: Santo heading to Hall of Fame
Late Cubs third baseman and broadcaster Ron Santo will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sunday.
Santo is one of four players with 2,000 hits, 300 home runs and 1,300 RBIs, along with fellow Hall of Famers Hank Aaron, Frank Robinson and Billy Williams. Santo played 14 seasons with the Cubs.
Cubs pitcher Matt Garza left his start Saturday after three scoreless innings with cramping in his right triceps.
St. Louis: Furcal keeps stroke going in return to leadoff spot
Rafael Furcal moved to the eighth spot in the lineup and went 2-for-4 on Friday. He returned to the leadoff spot Saturday and continued to produce, going 2-for-4 again, with two runs scored and an RBI.
"I don't think there's any secret to what he means to this offense once he gets going right," Matheny said.
Reliever Brian Fuentes was promoted to Double-A Springfield and will likely take the mound Monday.
Former Cardinals catcher Tim McCarver received the Ford C. Frick Award on Saturday for his contributions in broadcasting.
Wrigley Field hosts its first soccer match since 1984 on Sunday, when Italy's AS Roma faces Poland's Zaglebie Lubin.