Cardinals right-hander Lance Lynn will take the mound in Monday's series opener against the Mets looking to begin a new pair of streaks. The Mets and starter Jeremy Hefner, meanwhile, will be hoping to stop two streaks of their own.
St. Louis will continue its 10-game homestand, one day after its three-game winning streak was snapped at the hands of the Rockies. As for Lynn, he is coming off his first regular-season loss since Sept. 7, 2012 -- a span that included 12 starts and 10 victories.
Lynn's 10-game regular season winning streak came to an end Tuesday in a hard-luck loss against the Cubs. The righty conceded just two runs -- coming on a two-run homer by Nate Schierholtz -- over seven innings of work, but was saddled with the loss in a 2-1 defeat.
"That's tough to swallow with how good I felt," said Lynn, who has pitched seven innings and allowed two or fewer runs in each of his last four starts. "That's the fun part -- and the [not-so-fun] part -- about this game. You can pitch well and lose and pitch bad and win."
While Lynn seeks to start new winning streaks both for himself and the Cardinals, the Mets will kick off the four-game set at Busch Stadium looking to snap a three-game losing streak. They will turn to Hefner, who sits at 0-4 on the season with a 4.63 ERA in seven appearances (six starts). New York has lost all seven games in which Hefner has pitched.
Though Hefner has struggled at times, he -- like Lynn in his last outing -- has suffered from some bad luck.
In his April 25 start, Hefner allowed one run over seven innings against the Dodgers, but ultimately settled for a no-decision in a 3-2 loss. His next time out, he pitched a season-high eight frames against the Marlins, allowing just two runs, yet took a loss in a 2-1 decision.
In his only start since, Hefner yielded four runs over six innings on Wednesday against the White Sox as he suffered his fourth loss of the season.
"It's very frustrating. The bottom line though is that I'm tired of losing," Hefner said. "I need to get better and I need to make better pitches."
Mets: Collins experimenting with batting order
Manager Terry Collins rolled out a new-look batting order for Sunday's series finale against the Pirates, and the skipper plans to stick with the reworked lineup for the foreseeable future.
Collins placed David Wright third in the order, with left-handers Ike Davis and Lucas Duda hitting fourth and fifth, respectively, marking the first time this season the lefties have hit back to back. With his club scheduled to face a string of right-handed starters over the next week, Collins plans to stick with the new lineup for the time being, regardless of results.
"We've got some guys that their job is to drive in runs," Collins said. "So we're putting them in a position where they can drive in runs."
The Mets are averaging just 2.3 runs per game over their last six contests, going 2-4 during that span.
Cardinals: Holliday fine after injury scare
Matt Holliday was in his normal spot in the starting lineup on Sunday, one day after stumbling over the first-base bag and leaving Saturday's game early.
Holliday, who departed after the eighth-inning incident on Saturday, reported no lingering effects prior to going 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts in Sunday's loss.
"He told me before he left [Saturday] night that he was going to be fine," manager Mike Matheny said. "[Sunday] morning, he checked out fine. I think it just scared him a little bit."
• The Cardinals are one of just two National League teams -- not including the Mets -- Hefner has never faced. The D-backs are the other.
• Each of the last five season series between these clubs have finished either tied or separated by just one game. The Mets hold a slight 18-17 advantage in the 35 meetings since the start of the 2008 season.