Thursday night's 5-4 loss to the Washington Nationals snapped the St. Louis Cardinals' winning streak at a season-high eight games.
But the Cardinals' most impressive run of the year has put them in position to get into position. St. Louis can further improve its standing Friday night when it starts a three-game weekend series against the Milwaukee Brewers in a National League Central showdown at Busch Stadium.
The Cardinals (66-56) trail Milwaukee (68-55) and Philadelphia by 1 1/2 games in the wild-card race. St. Louis slipped five games behind NL Central leader Chicago, thanks to the Cubs' 1-0 win in Pittsburgh.