The St. Louis Cardinals just wrapped up a nine-game stretch against the three last place teams in the National League with a 4-5 record.  Luke Weaver was outdueled by Eric Lauer as the Cardinals lost 4-2 to the Padres at Busch Stadium.  Weaver gave up all four runs while pitching into the sixth inning to take the loss.  Marcell Ozuna hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth for St. Louis, which lost two-of-three to San Diego.

On June 5, the Cardinals started a three-game series with the Miami Marlins, followed by a quick trip to Cincinnati before returning home to face the Padres.  A three-game win streak was inside this stretch of games against teams that were a combined 38 games below .500.  However, the Cardinals have now dropped three of their last four.  St. Louis entered this stretch 3 1/2 games out of first and head into Thursday’s day off, four games behind Milwaukee.

>>Cardinals Host Cubs Tomorrow

The Cardinals will host the Cubs in the first of a three-game series Friday night.  Michael Wacha puts his 8-and-1 mark on the line for St. Louis, while Chicago counters with 7-and-2 Jon Lester.  The Cards are 36-and-30.

>>Cardinals’ Martinez To Miss Cubs Series On Paternity Leave

The Cardinals will be without first baseman Jose Martinez against the Cubs this weekend.  Manager Mike Matheny says he will be placed on the paternity list and miss the Chicago series.  The birth of Martinez’s child will take place in Venezuela.  Luke Voit will be recalled from Triple-A Memphis.

>>Ozuna red hot

Marcell Ozuna’s bat has been heating up.  He hit his eighth homer of the season and his third in the last five games and fifth in the month of June.  Ozuna’s average has bumped up 21 points to .286 this month and is 10-for-27 (.370) over his last seven games.

The Cubs were shut out for the second straight game, losing 1-0 to the Brewers in Milwaukee.  Mike Montgomery was outdueled by Jhoulys Chacin.  Javier Baez had two of Chicago’s six hits in defeat.  The Cubs are 38-and-27, a game-and-a-half out of first in the NL Central.