The Cardinals will come home for nine games Wednesday after passing a tough test on a west coast road trip.
The Redbirds returned from sets with the Padres and Dodgers followed by a two-game stopover in Kansas City with a 6-2 record, their lead in the National League Central 1 1/2 games over Cincinnati.
But that doesn't mean the club can take its foot off the gas pedal.
The Cardinals host the Royals for two more games at Busch Stadium before playing host to the defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants -- a club that defeated St. Louis in a tough, seven-game series -- and four games against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Birds took two out of three games during a previous road trip to San Francisco. They're 1-2 against the Diamondbacks, one of only two teams against which St. Louis has a losing record. (The other is the Pittsburgh Pirates who have won three of five games against the Cardinals.)
Through 51 games this season, the Cardinals have played 29 games on the road -- with a 20-9 record -- against 22 games at Busch Stadium where they're 14-8. Second place Cincinnati hasn't fared nearly as well on the road. The Reds are 20-7 at their home ballpark and 13-12 away from it.