Lance Lynn met with Cardinals manager Mike Matheny to talk about how to better handle himself on the mound after his last start. He will get his first chance to put those pointers to use Thursday as the Cardinals go for a sweep of the Phillies.
Lynn has 11 victories on the season, but has gone through a rough stretch lately. In his last eight starts, Lynn has a 6.32 ERA, and opponents are hitting .292 against him. In his last outing Saturday, he gave up four runs in five innings against the Padres and exhibited some negative body language throughout the start. This prompted Matheny to have a word with him the following day.
"Around here, we take a lot of pride in team. We take a lot of pride in how your teammates perceive you," Matheny said. "I've been doing it, really, trying to help him with how he's perceived by his teammates, and he's been conscious of it."
Lynn will face a Phillies team with troubles of its own. Philadelphia was hot going into the All-Star break and won its first game of the second half, but has since lost four in a row. The Phillies' front office was leaning toward being buyers at the July 31 Trade Deadline recently, but the team's recent stretch has the team eight games behind the first-place Braves in the National League East and is making that decision more difficult.
The Phillies will turn to Kyle Kendrick to stop the bleeding in the series finale. The right-hander won his last start, though he allowed six runs in 5 2/3 innings against the Mets. He surrendered two runs in six innings to the Cardinals on April 21.
Phillies: Brown out again Thursday
Domonic Brown will be out of the Phillies' lineup for the second straight game Thursday because of concussion-like symptoms. Brown hurt himself when he dove for a fly ball and came down hard in Tuesday's game. In his absence, Delmon Young assumed the cleanup spot in the Phillies' order Wednesday, while Laynce Nix manned Brown's post in left field.
Brown has been the Phillies' best hitter this season, and his absence comes at a time when the club is trying to make a push before next week's Trade Deadline. He hopes to return Friday, when the Phillies open a series in Detroit, but that will depend on results from a concussion test.
"I feel like I'm back to normal, honestly," Brown said Wednesday. "I was just a little dizzy yesterday. That's pretty much it. I didn't have any headaches."
The All-Star leads the Phillies with 24 homers and 69 RBIs.
Cardinals: Molina, Craig, Carpenter continue to be among league's best hitters
Allen Craig, Yadier Molina and Matt Carpenter came into Wednesday with three of the top five averages in the National League. And each Cardinal upped his respective mark against the Phillies.
Craig and Carpenter each had two hits, while Molina went 3-for-5. The three knocks helped Molina jump over Craig for the league lead in average at .339. Meanwhile Craig sits in second at .337 and Carpenter moved into fourth place, hitting .326. The Cardinals lead the NL in runs, hits and average.
"We have a really good thing going offensively as a collective group, and I feel like it's something where not one guy has to shoulder the load," Craig said.
• The Cardinals won without hitting a home run Wednesday. It's the 25th time they have won a game without a homer this season.
• Phillies outfielder Michael Martinez played three innings in center field Wednesday after he was promoted from Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He also went 1-for-1 at the plate with an RBI.
Stephen Pianovich is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.