Though St. Louis finished 4-6 on its road trip against three fellow National League postseason contenders (Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Washington), the Cardinals still returned home occupying the second Wild Card spot. But with the Dodgers and Pirates less than three games back, the Cardinals' next six games against two sub-.500 clubs offered a chance to widen that gap.
So far they're doing their part.
St. Louis opened the series with a 5-4 win over the Mets on Monday before following that up with a 5-1 win on Tuesday. The Cardinals tagged New York's starters -- Collin McHugh and Matt Harvey -- for seven combined runs on 12 total hits.
But don't expect the same on Wednesday.
NL Cy Young Award candidate R.A. Dickey will take the mound for the Mets in search of his 18th win of the season. Dickey threw a shutout against the Marlins on Friday, his third of the season.
"I don't know how many complete games that is or shutouts for him, but his numbers have been racked up pretty impressive right now," Mets manager Terry Collins said after the start. "I'm running out of things to say about him. He threw some knuckleballs tonight that nobody is going to hit."
One of Dickey's aforementioned shutouts came against the Cardinals on June 2, his only start against St. Louis this season. At the time, the knuckleballer extended his streak of consecutive scoreless innings to 17 1/3, and he would nearly double it before it was snapped in the ninth inning two games -- and 15 innings -- later.
Opposite Dickey will be Adam Wainwright, who will look to rebound from the shortest start of his career. Wainwright lasted just 2 2/3 innings against the Nationals on Friday, allowing six runs on nine hits in a 10-0 loss.
"[It was] just a really weird night; nothing that's going to do anything but motivate me for next time," Wainwright said. "I just did a horrible job of putting guys away and letting them get back in it. I had not good fastball command. The times that I made adjustments, I over-adjusted and left it over the plate."
Wainwright allowed seven runs over 6 1/3 innings against the Mets on June 1 at Citi Field when the Cardinals were no-hit by Johan Santana.
Mets: Club adds six callups
The Mets officially added six players to their roster prior to Tuesday's contest, transferring catcher Rob Johnson and left-hander Tim Byrdak to the 60-day disabled list to clear space on the team's 40-man roster.
Right-handers Jeurys Familia, Elvin Ramirez, Jenrry Mejia and lefty Justin Hampson joined the club along with outfielders Jordany Valdespin and Fred Lewis.
Ramirez, Hampson and Valdespin have all been with the Mets at least once this season.
Cardinals: Top prospect Miller called up to Majors
The Cardinals' top prospect has arrived.
Right-hander Shelby Miller joined the team on Tuesday and was available out of the bullpen. It's still undecided whether he'll make a start this month. Many expected Miller to arrive much earlier than this -- he was the organization's Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2010 and 2011.
But through his first 17 Triple-A starts in 2012, Miller had four wins and a 6.17 ERA. He turned things around, but it took until around the time of the All-Star break. After it, Miller posted a 7-2 record and 2.88 ERA in 10 starts. He struck out 70 in 59 1/43 innings.
"I knew it was always a possibility if I had a good year," Miller said. "It took a huge turn and I started pitching a lot better. It's just a huge honor. I tried to keep a positive look at it all year, and now I'm here."
Yadier Molina collected his 1,000th career hit with a second-inning infield single on Tuesday. With 1,000 hits as a Cardinal, Molina now ranks 33rd on the franchise's all-time hits list.
Outfielder Carlos Beltran was out of the lineup for a second straight game on Tuesday with a bruised left knee.