Brandon Beachy has been nearly untouchable this season for Atlanta. In six starts, he is 3-1 and has given up just seven earned runs. Opposing batters are hitting just .190 against him. Entering play Friday, his 1.62 ERA ranked as the seventh lowest for a starter in all of baseball.
Beachy will look to continue his remarkable run when he takes the ball for the Braves on Saturday against the Cardinals.
Beachy's only previous outing against St. Louis came on April 30 of last year in Atlanta. He allowed just two runs and four baserunners over seven innings, striking out five and taking a no-decision in the Braves' 3-2 loss.
Adam Wainwright, who will get the start for the Cardinals, is straightening out his rough start to the 2012 season. He finished the month of April with a 0-3 record and a 7.32 ERA, but since the calendar has turned to May, he has won both of his starts while posting a 3.21 ERA.
Over the course of his career, Wainwright has been excellent against Atlanta, the team that drafted him. He's pitched in nine games and made six starts, going 6-0 with a 2.25 ERA.
Braves: Bourn to run
Michael Bourn has led the National League in stolen bases in each of the last three seasons. He has some competition this year, though. Bourn is tied for fourth in the league with 11 swipes. Only Emilio Bonifacio of the Marlins, Dee Gordon of the Dodgers and Starlin Castro of the Cubs have more.
Bourn has also gotten the better of Wainwright over the course of his career. The speedy outfielder has eight hits in 25 at-bats against the St. Louis right-hander, including two doubles, a triple and two walks. He has also struck out seven times against Wainwright.
Cardinals: Back-to-back jacks
The back-to-back home runs by Carlos Beltran and Allen Craig in the fourth inning of Friday's 9-7 loss marked the fifth time this season Cardinals hitters have hit back-to-back home runs. On May 7 against Arizona, St. Louis did it twice in one game, with Beltran and Matt Holliday going back-to-back in the third inning and Craig and David Freese homering consecutively in the seventh inning.
The Cardinals have scored 83 runs this season in the first three innings of games, outscoring opponents 83-34.
St. Louis retired former manager Tony La Russa's number in a pregame ceremony on Friday. La Russa became the 14th name honored on the outfield wall at Busch Stadium, joining such Cardinals legends as Stan Musial, Ozzie Smith and Jack Buck.
Atlanta's Jack Wilson has a .364 lifetime average against Wainwright, going 8-for-22 with a double and two RBIs. Meanwhile, Wainwright has dominated Dan Uggla. Uggla has only picked up two hits in 20 career at-bats against him.
The Braves' 12-inning win on Friday improved their record in extra inning games this season to 3-0. The Cardinals suffered their second extra-inning loss of the year to fall to 1-2.
Friday's win snapped a seven-game losing streak in St. Louis for the Braves.