Major League Baseball
Preview
St. Louis at Arizona
When: 9:40 PM ET, Thursday, August 27, 2015
Where: Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona

Arizona will be happy to see St. Louis leave town, but it might be too late as the Diamondbacks try to avoid a sweep when they host the Cardinals on Thursday in the finale of their four-game series. St. Louis made it seven straight victories over Arizona and won for the 12th time in the last 13 meetings with a 3-1 victory Wednesday to maintain its 4 1/2-game lead over Pittsburgh in the National League Central while dealing the Diamondbacks another blow to their fading postseason hopes.

Arizona, which is 7 1/2 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West after getting within five Sunday, has mustered only five runs against the Cardinals this week. Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (.331 average) has eight hits in his last 17 at-bats after homering Wednesday and has the third-highest batting average in baseball behind Miami's Dee Gordon (.333) and Washington's Bryce Harper (.332). St. Louis is 4-2 on its 10-game road trip as it continues to keep the Pirates at bay and owns a 26-9-4 series record this season while compiling the best record in the major leagues at 81-45. Arizona's Rubby De La Rosa is 5-0 with a 2.54 ERA in his last seven turns and opposes Carlos Martinez, who is out to snap a two-start losing streak.

TV: 9:40 p.m. ET, FSN Midwest (St. Louis), FSN Arizona

PITCHING MATCHUP: Cardinals RH Carlos Martinez (12-6, 2.85 ERA) vs. Diamondbacks Rubby De La Rosa (11-5, 4.32)

Martinez yielded eight runs (seven earned) and 14 hits in 11 1/3 innings during his slide, including three runs in 6 1/3 frames of an 8-0 loss in San Diego on Saturday. The 23-year-old Dominican is 1-2 with a 4.91 ERA in his last five starts, although St. Louis went 3-2 in those turns. Martinez received a no-decision after allowing five hits and striking out eight in seven scoreless innings of the Cardinals' 3-2 victory over Arizona on May 25 in his only start versus the Diamondbacks.

De La Rosa permitted two runs and seven hits while striking out six in seven innings of a 6-3 victory in Cincinnati on Friday for his third consecutive quality start. "If there's a guy on our staff who can go deep into a game, it's him,'' Arizona manager Chip Hale said of the 26-year-old Dominican, who is 7-1 in 12 home starts this season. "He's a horse. He's got the ability to throw a hundred pitches. He gave us seven good innings." De La Rosa received a no-decision in his only start against St. Louis, allowing one run in six innings of the Diamondbacks' 3-2 loss Aug. 5, 2014.

WALK-OFFS

1. Cardinals rookie CF Thomas Pham is 11-for-27 over the first six games of the road trip.

2. St. Louis CF Jon Jay, who hasn't played since June 30 (wrist), took an extended round of batting practice Wednesday and soon could begin a rehab assignment.

3. Cardinals SS Jhonny Peralta went 0-for-4 on Wednesday after going 11-for-30 during an eight-game hitting streak.

PREDICTION: Diamondbacks 3, Cardinals 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
St. Louis 81-45 W4 46-19 35-26 18-8 32-18 20-10 11-9
Arizona 62-64 L3 30-32 32-32 15-18 14-15 24-26 9-5
Last Meeting
St. Louis Arizona
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
8/26/15 STL 3 ARI 1 .182 1 .553 .226 1 .628
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
St. Louis K. Wong .333 7 1.010
Arizona Y. Tomas .368 7 .842
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
St. Louis M. Carpenter 1 6 2
Arizona N. Ahmed 1 2 1
Pitching ERA Avg K
St. Louis 1.96 .283 43
Arizona 4.78 .263 46
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
St. Louis J. Heyward .287 123 .783
Arizona P. Goldschmidt .331 149 1.017
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
St. Louis M. Carpenter 19 73 66
Arizona P. Goldschmidt 25 81 94
Pitching ERA Avg K
St. Louis 2.65 .253 1015
Arizona 4.03 .266 921