The St. Louis Cardinals may have been hoping a series with the Chicago Cubs would help provide some momentum before hosting the NL Central leader.
Instead, they're hoping Joe Kelly can help them avoid being swept.
With a series against first-place Pittsburgh looming, Kelly will try to help the Cardinals salvage a win versus the Cubs by turning in another strong performance Sunday.
St. Louis (66-50) was atop the division July 25, holding a 2 12-game lead on the Pirates. But 13 losses in 17 games, including four in a row, have dropped the Cardinals four games back.
With Pittsburgh scheduled to visit Busch Stadium for a three-game set starting Tuesday, the Cardinals are hoping to begin reversing their sluggish stretch, which includes batting .204 and averaging 1.9 runs in those defeats.
St. Louis has already lost its first home series with the Cubs (52-64) since being swept in a three-game set Sept. 13-15, 2010. The struggles continued Saturday, when the Cardinals squandered a two...