Brewers starter Marco Estrada didn't have to wait long for a chance at redemption against the division-rival Cardinals.
On May 5, Estrada delivered a disastrous outing against St. Louis, allowing eight runs on six hits and five walks in just 3 1/3 innings. Less than two weeks later, Estrada will take the mound against the Cardinals on Saturday knowing it can't get much worse than last time.
"It was one of the worst outings of my career," Estrada said. "I had no idea where the ball was going. ... It's one of those outings where I had no clue what I was doing out there. I felt lost."
That game against the Cardinals was part of a two-start stretch in which Estrada earned himself a 14.04 ERA in 8 1/3 innings of work. He bounced back on Monday by going seven innings and surrendering just one run and three hits against the Pirates, giving him some positive momentum heading into Saturday.
But St. Louis has had Milwaukee's number as of late, winning five straight, and that goes for Lance Lynn, too. In six career games (two starts) against the Brewers, Lynn is 2-1 with a 1.40 ERA. On Saturday, he'll see Milwaukee for the first time this season, fresh off notching his sixth win of the season on Monday by allowing three runs and four hits in seven innings against the Mets.
The 26-year-old right-hander used 124 pitches against New York, and although manager Mike Matheny said he'll remember that as the game plays out on Saturday, it won't necessarily play a factor in how long he'll let Lynn go.
"We always pay close to attention to what the collective work has been," Matheny said. "But we always do say, too, that usually the best indicator is how his stuff looks."
More often than not this season, Lynn's stuff has looked just fine, as a win Saturday would put him in a tie for the most in the Majors one year after he bounced in and out of the Cardinals' rotation.
"I think there's just some overall adjustments he's made that made him, to me, more durable for the long haul," Matheny said. "I think time will tell whether that's true or not, but he's had a good start so we're just hoping he stays on that track and stays with the work program he's using in between starts."
Brewers: Ramirez finds results
Ron Roenicke knew it was only a matter of time. The Brewers manager knew Aramis Ramirez was swinging too well to continue struggling on Milwaukee's long trip.
And, after Ramirez went 3-for-18 on the first two stops of the trip, he finally broke through with a pair of three-run homers on Friday night. Friday was Ramirez's 10th game since returning from the DL with a sprained left knee, and Roenicke said he'll continue to monitor his third baseman.
"I'm not thinking in a week from now that I can leave him out there all nine innings and not worry about him," Roenicke said. "I know I'm not there."
Cardinals: Westbrook suffers setback
Jake Westbrook underwent more tests on his right elbow this week, and the results showed he might miss more time than he originally hoped.
A buildup of scar tissue was found in the elbow, requiring a second cortisone shot that will keep the 35-year-old right-hander from throwing for two days.
Now, Westbrook likely will miss a third start. He's eligible to come off the disabled list on May 24, but his focus will be on returning to a scheduled throwing program that was delayed by the second cortisone shot.
"The fact I haven't thrown yet, it would probably be tough to gather enough arm strength up to make that next start," Westbrook said. "But you never know."
• The Cardinals are 7-1 against the Brewers this season, including a current five-game winning streak.
• A loss Saturday would give the Brewers their third five-game losing streak this season.
Jeremy Warnemuende is an associate reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.