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LAA@CHC: Wood holds Halos to two runs over 6 2/3

The Cardinals and Cubs will close out the first half with their top pitchers taking the mound Sunday night.

All-Stars Adam Wainwright and Travis Wood will square off at Wrigley Field in the last contest before the break.

Wainwright will be looking to earn a National League-best 13th victory when he makes his 20th start of the season.

Even though the Cubs have fallen well behind the Cardinals, Pirates and Reds in the National League Central, Wainwright said the Chicago-St. Louis rivalry is still going strong.

"Cubs fans have been Cubs fans since they were born," Wainwright said. "And they've got 85, 90-year-old people who've been Cubs fans since they came out of the womb, so a couple bad years stretch isn't going to change a rivalry that's lasted as long as it has."

Wood recorded his 17th quality start in his last outing, surrendering just four hits -- one a two-run homer to Albert Pujols -- to the Angels in 6 2/3 innings. The lefty's 17 quality starts mark the first time a Cubs pitcher has achieved that number before the All-Star break since Greg Maddux did it in 1988.

"He can't pitch any better baseball," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said after Wood's last start. "Besides throwing shutouts, you can't really pitch any better."

Cubs: Schierholtz likely to sit out Sunday
Nate Schierholtz is unlikely to be in the lineup on Sunday as he sits with some nagging injuries.

Sveum said Schierholtz did not start Saturday against the Cardinals because he is a little "banged up," with minor injuries involving several body parts.

"I'll probably give him [Sunday] off as well and let him get six days off," Sveum said. "I might have to use him to pinch-hit or something. He's just banged up and struggling a little bit."

Schierholtz's 253 at-bats are the most the right fielder has had before the All-Star break.

Cardinals: Wainwright unlikely to pitch in All-Star Game
By electing to add another start before the break, Wainwright is unlikely to pitch in his second All-Star Game on Tuesday in New York.

The Cardinals ace will wait to see what happens Sunday, but still plans to attend the festivities.

"I don't think you can make a [final] decision on it until we see what happens [Sunday]," Wainwright said Saturday. "I mean, if the game were to get rained out and I backed out for no reason, that would be silly. But if I pitch [Sunday], then I would probably forgo the chance to pitch in the All-Star Game to allow for some rest."

Per the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, Sunday starters are permitted to pitch, at most, one inning in the game.

"I would only be allowed to pitch one inning anyway, so I'd rather see another deserving person make the team that's not on the team," Wainwright said.

Worth noting
• Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina got another night off to rest his right knee Saturday. Molina had made his first back-to-back starts since missing two games last weekend as he recovers from inflammation. Tony Cruz started behind the plate in his place.

"[Molina] wanted in there, but [it's] a good day for Tony to get in there," manager Mike Matheny said. "It was my idea. I don't worry about Yadier with matchups. It was just kind of reading his body and reading how he's moving. He said he feels good [and] thinks he feels worse after he has a day off, but that's Yadier."

• The Cubs claimed outfielder Cole Gillespie off waivers from the Giants on Saturday. Gillespie is a former Oregon State teammate of Chicago second baseman Darwin Barney. Both played for the Beavers' 2006 National Championship squad.

"It's usually not my job to play front office, but I think it's a good pickup for us," Barney said. "He was all-state shortstop kind of guy, good athlete, and a right-handed bat that we need right now. He can play all positions real well. I'm excited to finally play with a teammate who I played with in the past."

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