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Cubs stuck in stretch against division foes

CHICAGO – The Cubs are in the middle of a quirky stretch where face 12 games against National League Central foes – all against the Cardinals and Pirates.

After getting out-slugged yesterday versus the Cardinals, Jeff Samarzdija takes the mound trying to quiet the St. Louis offense. Samardzija (7-8, 4.25 ERA) is coming off one of his best performances of the season, allowing one hit and no runs in eight innings at Pittsburgh.

Right-hander Joe Kelly (1-3, 2.78) starts for the Cardinals.

Left fielder Alfonso Soriano is one home run shy of his 20th which would give him 11 consecutive seasons with at least 20.

Cardinals starting lineup

1. Skip Schumaker, 2B2. Jon Jay, CF3. Matt Holliday, LF4. Carlos Beltran, RF5. Lance Berkman, 1B6. Yadier Molina, C7. Matt Carpenter, 3B8. Daniel Descalso, SS9. Joe Kelly, P

Cubs starting lineup

1. David DeJesus, CF2. Starlin Castro, SS3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B4. Alfonso Soriano, LF5. Bryan LaHair, RF6. Geovany Soto, C7. Jeff Baker, 2B8. Luis Valbuena, 3B9. Jeff Samardzija, P

-- Meghan Montemurro

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