Originally posted on Fox Sports Midwest  |  Last updated 5/8/13
(AP) -- Jake Westbrook owns the lowest ERA in baseball, but a visit to Wrigley Field could put that in jeopardy. Westbrook looks to give the St. Louis Cardinals another strong effort on the mound in order to help them salvage a split of this two-game set with the archrival Chicago Cubs on Wednesday. The Cardinals (20-12) have the best rotation in baseball with a 2.22 ERA, and Westbrook (2-1, 1.07 ERA) is a big reason for that. The right-hander, however, is 2-1 with a 6.14 ERA while allowing the Cubs to hit .305 over three starts at Wrigley. Overall, he's 5-2 with a 4.14 ERA in eight starts and won the most recent matchup on July 21, when he yielded three hits in seven innings of a 12-0 home victory. Westbrook enters this matchup after yielding one run in 12 innings over his last two starts, earning a 6-5 win in the latest one at Milwaukee on Thursday. That marked the sinkerballer's 100th career victory. "One of the luxuries I have is that my ball still moves," the 13-year veteran told the team's official website. "Lot of times, whether it goes where I want it to or not, it still runs down in the zone. It still can be good, and I can have some success." The Cubs (13-20) may be at the bottom of the NL Central, but they've won four of six at home against the Cardinals. They beat them again Tuesday, when Nate Schierholtz's two-run homer in the fourth provided the difference in a 2-1 victory. "Any time we come in here, it's tough," manager Mike Matheny said. "This team plays us tough any time we come into Wrigley." Chicago is trying for a third straight win at home for the first time since July 28-30, a stretch that included two wins over St. Louis. Alfonso Soriano, who had two hits and a run Tuesday, has hit the Cardinals hard of late with a .327 average in 14 meetings. Much of that damage has come in nine home games, during which he's batting .389 (14 for 36) with seven extra-base hits. Soriano, though, is 3 for 30 versus Westbrook, who has held the current Cubs roster to .218 at the plate. Carlos Villanueva (1-2, 2.85) is slated to get the ball in an effort to avoid losing three straight starts for the first time in his eight-year career. He'll try to draw some inspiration from Travis Wood's impressive performance Tuesday after he yielded one run with eight strikeouts in 6 2-3 innings to outpitch Lance Lynn. Villanueva has lost back-to-back-outings, surrendering eight runs with 12 strikeouts in 11 2-3 innings. "In my last two starts, I'm one pitch away from two quality outings," Villanueva said. "You know, the good part is I'm close to where I want to be. I'm just not putting that guy away when I need to." The right-hander is 2-0 with a 4.00 ERA in his last three starts against the Cardinals, but he hasn't faced them since June 25, 2011. He's held Yadier Molina to 3 for 18, but the Cardinals catcher is hitting .452 over his last eight games. He had two hits Tuesday, but killed a potential rally in the eighth by being picked off between second and third. Matt Holiday has homered on two of his three hits in 10 at-bats versus Villanueva, but he's 3 for 20 over the last six games at Wrigley.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Junior Galette out for season with torn Achilles

Usain Bolt, Justin Gatlin in war of words over 'disrespect'

Report: CJ McCollum agrees to max contract with Blazers

McCarthy not worried about Matthews, Peppers PED claims

Josh Gordon reinstated by NFL, suspended four games

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Florida QB Treon Harris to transfer

Jiu-jitsu athlete says he was kidnapped in Rio by men dressed as police

49ers’ Anthony Davis officially applies for reinstatement

Jordan speaks out against shootings, donates $2 million

Report: Cromartie may be forced to retire due to hip issue

Greg Jennings announces retirement from NFL

Cubs to acquire Aroldis Chapman from Yankees

Mario Balotelli crashes Liverpool fans' wedding

Michael Vick: I used to feel I was 'dominating too much'

WATCH: Astros, Rangers minor leaguers get into brawl

A too early preview of UEFA World Cup 2018 qualifying

Blues GM: Team may take step back before moving forward

Jason Williams calls Barkley a 'loser' for Durant criticism

Four potential challengers for Amanda Nunes' belt

Kevin Owes vs. Sami Zayn: An instance classic

Jags GM: Greg Hardy workout was to 'do our homework'

White Sox refused to tip Mariners’ clubhouse attendants in protest of new policy

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker