Both clubs are coming off morale-boosting wins on Sunday, especially Miami, which snapped a six-game losing streak and avoided setting a new season-long skid with a 9-0 win over Toronto. It was the first time since May 25 that the Marlins had scored more than five runs.
The big win could turn things around for the club, which is 5-16 in June and has dropped nine of its last 11.
"You have meetings, you talk, you get extra hitting, you talk to the pitchers -- a lot of things you can do," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said before Sunday's win. "The only thing you can do is go out there and perform, including myself, my coaching staff. If we overdo stuff, or we don't do enough, we have to know. But I think what we're doing right now is very bad."
Miami starter Ricky Nolasco is coming off his worst outing of the season, giving up nine runs in 3 1/3 innings to the Red Sox. It was the third time in 14 starts that Nolasco failed to pitch at least five innings.
"I fell behind in the count a lot," Nolasco said after his start. "And there's not much you can do when you're behind in the count."
Nolasco has also dropped three straight decisions -- all in Interleague Play -- and he has lost three straight starts at Marlins Park. In four June starts, he sports a 7.66 ERA.
Cardinals starter Jake Westbrook, however, is coming off the best start of his season. Westbrook gave up one unearned run on five hits in his first complete game since May 16, 2010.
St. Louis completed its first series sweep since May 21-23 with an 11-8 win over Kansas City on Sunday. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said he challenged his team in Detroit last week for being too quiet in the clubhouse and on the bench.
That changed this weekend with three wins, and the recent additions of Matt Carpenter, Jon Jay and Skip Schumaker from the disabled list have helped, as well.
"When you win, it changes everything," Matheny said. "We want to be consistent and we want to enjoy every day we put the uniform on, and I think that happens here. It all comes down to winning and losing. We're paid to win. When we're not doing what we are paid to do, that influences everything -- the attitude in there, the demeanor."
Cardinals: Holliday's numbers on the rise
Matt Holliday has been on a tear at the plate recently, batting .548 with six doubles, two homers and 12 RBIs in his last seven games. With five hits in his last two games, Holliday has raised his average to a season-high .299. He has hit .347 in 19 games this month.
"It's kind of scary to think how good it's going to be once he gets going," Matheny said.
Since getting activated from the DL on Friday, both Carpenter and Jay have been doing their part offensively on the Cardinals' road trip. Carpenter is 4-for-14 with an RBI and a double, while Jay is 3-for-10 with an RBI.
Marlins: Hanley calls team meeting
Marlins third baseman Hanley Ramirez initiated a team meeting after Miami's 7-1 loss to Toronto on Saturday. It was the first time the usually quiet Ramirez had called such a meeting.
Ramirez didn't elaborate on what was said during the meeting, but the three-time All-Star said he just had something on his mind and needed to say it.
"Every team in the big leagues is going to struggle," Ramirez said. "We're going through it right now. Some get out of it quick. Others, it takes a little bit longer. It's been too long for us. The talent we have here, it shouldn't be this long."
Entering Sunday's win over the Blue Jays, the Marlins' pitching staff had posted a 5.30 ERA since May 10, the second highest in the Majors. Starters had a 5.11 ERA, while the bullpen was at 5.70.
Nolasco is 0-4 with a 6.19 ERA in seven career appearances, including six starts, against the Cardinals. He's given up 10 hits to St. Louis in each of his last three starts against the Cards, and four of his last five.
The Cardinals have won six straight against the Marlins. St. Louis owns a 46-27 advantage while playing in Miami, and an all-time mark of 88-60.