While Matt Holliday is producing at the plate recently, Lance Lynn's run of success dates to last year.
As Lynn goes for a 10th straight win, Holliday looks to continue pounding the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday when the St. Louis Cardinals try to take this three-game series.
Holliday is hitting .370 over the past seven games, increasing his season average 43 points to .276.
The left fielder hit a two-run homer to power Tuesday's 2-1 win over Cincinnati and help end the Cardinals' three-game losing streak, which included a defeat by the same score in the series opener Monday.
"The guy is a beast," Reds starter Bronson Arroyo said after Holliday's third homer of the season doomed him to a loss. "He's solid and he swings the bat about as hard as anyone in the game. There's only a handful of guys that hit the ball with such a low trajectory and get it out."
Holliday is batting .400 with 12 RBIs during a 14-game hitting streak against the Reds. He's 12 for 27 with three doubles, a triple and two homers against Homer Bailey, Cincinnati's scheduled starter.
The Cardinals (15-11) may also feel confident with Lynn (4-0, 3.10 ERA) taking the mound.
The right-hander is 9-0 with a 2.63 ERA in 10 regular-season games - nine starts - dating to a loss in relief to Milwaukee on Sept. 7. That stretch includes winning all five home starts behind a 2.10 ERA, including a 5-1 victory over the Reds (15-13) on April 9 as he struck out 10 in six innings.
He's vying to become the first Cardinal to win 10 straight regular-season decisions since Chris Carpenter's 11 in a row July 5-Sept. 7, 2009.
Lynn has been particularly dominant in his last two starts, yielding one run and three hits over 14 innings while striking out 17.
"I thought I had a pretty good season last year," said Lynn, who had 18 wins and was an All-Star in 2012. "I was just trying to build off of that. That's where we're at; just trying to improve every time out. I'm doing that thus far."
He'll have to contend with a hot-hitting Brandon Phillips, who is 7 for 16 with three RBIs in four games. The second baseman has a .361 average over his past 15 meetings with St. Louis, while going 2 for 5 versus Lynn.
Bailey (1-2, 2.81) is taking the mound in search of his first win at St. Louis.
The right-hander is 0-4 with a 6.93 ERA in six starts there, getting battered in the most recent April 10. He surrendered seven runs and nine hits - three homers - in five innings of a 10-0 loss.
Bailey has since been terrific in three starts, compiling a 1.29 ERA with 24 strikeouts in 21 innings. However, he has an 0-1 record to show for it because he's been backed by a mere two runs.
The bats let him down again in Friday's 1-0 road loss to the Nationals, as he yielded one run in seven innings opposite Jordan Zimmermann's one-hitter.
Carlos Beltran homered off Bailey earlier this month and is coming off a three-hit effort Tuesday, giving him a .386 average in his last 12 games.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
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