ST. LOUIS -- For the fourth time in their past six series, the Cardinals will face a losing team. But like the previous three such meetings, that losing team meets the Cardinals on a decided upswing.
The Angels enter the Albert Pujols reunion series on a six-game winning streak after sweeping the Tigers and Astros on the road last week. Still nine games out in the A.L. West, the 39-48 Angels were desperate for a turnaround after being swept by the Pirates, already the third time this season they were swept at home.
Three reasons for their improved play:
1. Josh Hamilton. Early returns on the four-game break he was given on the Angels' last home stand are positive. Hamilton had at least one hit in every game on the road trip, finishing 9 for 21 with seven runs scored.
"There's no doubt that I think there's a comfort level that you can see starting to form," manager Mike Scioscia told reporters after Hamilton hit a game-turning RBI double on Sunday. "It's good to see him swingi...