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Cardinals get Wainwright back as they aim to clinch NL Central

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Cardinals get two chances on Wed. to clinch (1:54)

Doug Glanville previews Game 2 of the Cardinals-Pirates doubleheader on Wednesday. Catch the action at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN. (1:54)

The St. Louis Cardinals look to clinch the National League Central title and the best record in baseball on Wednesday, and they can do so with a win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

They will have two chances do to so, with the second coming on Wednesday Night Baseball (7 p.m. ET, ESPN/WatchESPN). Here's a look at the top stats to know for the matchup:

McCutchen slumping lately

Andrew McCutchen has been one of the best players for the Pirates all year, but he has been struggling at the plate recently. McCutchen has not homered in his last 17 games entering Wednesday, his second-longest streak this season.

In addition, he has not had a multihit game since the first game of a doubleheader on Sept. 15. The 13 consecutive games with one or fewer hits is the longest single-season streak of his career (he had a 19-game streak that spanned the 2012 and 2013 seasons).

Over those last 13 games, McCutchen is hitting .190, with three extra-base hits and two RBIs in 60 plate appearances, and has scored two runs. One main difference for him since Sept. 15 is that he is hitting .188 on pitches in the strike zone, compared with .343 before that.

Wainwright returns to bullpen

The Cardinals on Wednesday activated Adam Wainwright, who has not pitched since suffering an Achilles injury on April 25. Wainwright will be used out of the bullpen, an area where he has had success before.

Wainwright pitched out of the bullpen for the Cardinals in 2006, posting a 3.12 ERA in 61 games and notching three saves during the regular season.

Wainwright was the Cardinals' closer in the postseason, finishing all nine games he pitched. He went 1-0 with four saves and did not allow a run in 9 2/3 innings. Wainwright struck out 15 batters, including the final batter of both the National League Championship Series and the World Series.

Morton looks to snap streak against St. Louis

If the Cardinals cannot clinch against Gerrit Cole in the first game, their recent success against the second-game starter, Charlie Morton, will provide some optimism.

Morton has not defeated the Cardinals as a starter since April 4, 2011, a span of 11 straight starts without a win. Over that span he is 0-8 with a 4.76 ERA and 1.60 WHIP against the Cardinals. Morton pitched well against the Cardinals earlier this month, allowing one run over six innings, but still took the loss.

The 11-game winless streak is by far Morton's longest against an opponent. His next-longest was a seven-game winless stretch against the Chicago Cubs from 2011 to 2014.

The streak is also tied for the sixth-longest winless streak by any starting pitcher against the Cardinals in the last 100 seasons. The last pitcher with a longer winless streak against the Cardinals was Don Carman of the Phillies, who went 13 straight games without a win from 1986 to 1989.