MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The St. Louis Cardinals must play better at home if they are seriously interested in punching their ticket to the postseason party for the sixth straight year. After losing 10 of their last 14 at Busch Stadium, the Cardinals look to give their fans a reason to cheer on Friday when the club opens a 10-game homestand with the first of three contests against the Miami Marlins.

St. Louis, which has dropped 26 home games to match last season’s sum total, headed into the All-Star break having won three of four to improve to 6-4 in July.

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Miami also is entertaining a shot at the postseason, with president of baseball operations Michael Hill saying, “This is a good team. This is a playoff team. What is encouraging is we still aren’t playing our best baseball.”

Giancarlo Stanton regained his form after a brutal stretch by going deep five times in his last five games before winning the Home Run Derby with a record-setting performance on Monday. The slugger enters Friday’s opener of a seven-game trek on a seven-game hitting streak, with 10 RBIs and seven runs scored during the stretch.

PITCHING MATCHUP: Marlins LH Wei-Yin Chen (5-3, 4.83 ERA) vs. Cardinals LH Jaime Garcia (6-6, 4.01)

Chen received the nod on Friday after ace Jose Fernandez competed in the All-Star Game. The 31-year-old native of Taiwan has answered a difficult three-game stretch by turning in two strong performances in his last three – highlighted by a one-run, three-hit effort in seven innings of a 5-2 triumph over the New York Mets. Chen has pitched well on the road (4-2, 4.13 ERA) and will face the Cardinals for the first time in his career.

Although 2-0 in his last four outings, Garcia was fortunate to walk away with a no-decision on July 6 after being taken deep twice and allowing four runs in five innings versus Pittsburgh. The 30-year-old has permitted seven homers in his last six trips to the mound after being taken deep just three times in his previous 11. Garcia has reeled in the Marlins in his career, posting a 2-0 mark with a 1.07 ERA in four outings.

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WALK-OFFS

1. St. Louis SS Aledmys Diaz has two homers, six RBIs and five runs scored during his six-game hitting streak.

2. Marlins OF Marcell Ozuna is 10-for-59 (.169) in his career versus the Cardinals.

3. St. Louis leads the majors with 68 errors.

PREDICTION: Cardinals 3, Marlins 2

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