Holliday gets mini break as DH for I-70 opener

Holliday gets mini break as DH for I-70 opener

KANSAS CITY -- Cardinals manager Mike Matheny is managing Matt Holliday for the long haul, and that's why Holliday served as the designated hitter on Friday night against the Royals.

After getting a full day off on Thursday in New York, Holliday needed only to swing the bat and not patrol the spacious Kauffman Stadium outfield for the I-70 Series opener. Matheny had Randal Grichuk taking Holliday's usual spot in left with Peter Bourjos in center and Jason Heyward in right.

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Robert Falkoff is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Jay nearing return from left wrist tendinitis

Jay nearing return from left wrist tendinitis

KANSAS CITY -- Outfielder Jon Jay was in an upbeat mood as he relaxed in the Cardinals' clubhouse on Friday afternoon.

"I'm going to hit with the club on the field today and that's good news for me," Jay said.

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Robert Falkoff is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Harris' journey from Navy to Majors captivates

Cards reliever, fan favorite excited for opportunity in bigs with Memorial Day on deck

Harris' journey from Navy to Majors captivates

NEW YORK -- Mitch Harris expected the attention. He welcomed it really, since it would shine attention on the men and women serving in the United States Armed Forces. What he didn't anticipate, however, was how much his story would resonate.

Since joining the Cardinals one month ago, the 29-year-old rookie reliever has been the most sought after interview in the clubhouse. His unprecedented journey from US Naval Academy graduate to Navy Lieutenant to Major League pitcher has captivated more than just fans of his team.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Garcia flashes signature movement in return

Cards lefty walks five, but hurls seven solid innings to make case for No. 5 spot

Garcia flashes signature movement in return

NEW YORK -- The Cardinals may have been seeking better than the series split they got with Thursday's 5-0 loss to the Mets. But they departed New York with potentially a bigger long-term find.

The search for a fifth starter turned to Jaime Garcia, who, making his first start in 11 months, went seven innings while flashing the movement that has long made his pitches so hard for hitters to pick up. Though Garcia had to tiptoe around five walks and five hits, the 102-pitch effort only boosted the Cardinals' optimism that the left-hander could be a fit in what has been a glaring rotation hole.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Grichuk races to make diving grab, turns DP

Cards center fielder reaches top speed of 20.131 mph as tracked by Statcast

Grichuk races to make diving grab, turns DP

NEW YORK -- Cardinals outfielder Randal Grichuk, a Gold Glove Award winner in the Minors, continued his standout defensive series with a diving catch to initiate a double play in the second inning of Thursday's game against the Mets.

Though the Cardinals ended up losing, 5-0, Grichuk laid out to keep John Mayberry Jr.'s line drive to left-center off lefty starter Jaime Garcia from falling in a scoreless game. And if the diving catch alone wasn't enough for the highlight reel, Grichuk hopped up and fired a throw to first baseman Matt Adams that doubled up Michael Cuddyer. Cuddyer, who opened the inning with a walk, had already reached second when he saw Grichuk make the grab.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Garcia solid in '15 debut, but Cards blanked by Mets

Garcia solid in '15 debut, but Cards blanked by Mets

NEW YORK -- Jacob deGrom's early-season rough patch has officially come to an end.

deGrom's eight shutout innings led the Mets to a 5-0 win over the Cardinals at Citi Field on Thursday afternoon, giving the clubs a four-game series split and boosting the Mets to their fourth win in six games. Though St. Louis starter Jaime Garcia was also sharp in his first outing in 11 months, deGrom was better, striking out 11 Cardinals and holding them to one hit.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cards option Tuivailala, open spot for Garcia

Cards option Tuivailala, open spot for Garcia

NEW YORK -- Needing to open a spot on the 25-man roster for left-hander Jaime Garcia, the Cardinals optioned reliever Sam Tuivailala to Triple-A Memphis prior to Thursday's series finale at Citi Field. The move still leaves St. Louis with an eight-man bullpen.

Tuivailala, the 11th-ranked prospect in the Cardinals' farm system, joined the club on Sunday to help provide extra coverage in the 'pen, and he made two appearances against the Mets. He shouldered the loss on Monday after walking the first two batters he faced to open the 14th, but he returned to the mound the next night and pitched a scoreless frame. Tuivailala debuted a new cutter in that outing.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Matheny working with players to schedule days off

Matheny working with players to schedule days off

NEW YORK -- As manager Mike Matheny tries to seek the best way to keep his position players fresh, he has made an adjustment this year in terms of how he is building in what he sees as necessary days off.

On a day in which he unplugged both left fielder Matt Holliday and catcher Yadier Molina from the lineup, Matheny explained on Thursday that he often looks as far as a week in advance to start scheduling those days off. That gives players an opportunity to see a break coming, but it also offers them a chance to discuss potentially swapping it for a different day based on matchup preferences or feeling.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sizzling Cards, Martinez shut out Mets

Sizzling Cards, Martinez shut out Mets

NEW YORK -- The Cardinals' offense continued to sizzle for a second straight night, smacking 14 hits to back starter Carlos Martinez in a 9-0 thumping of the Mets on Wednesday.

Martinez was stellar, tossing 6 1/3 shutout innings while striking out five to earn his fourth win. St. Louis was catapulted by a six-run fourth inning, during which Jason Heyward and Matt Adams hit long home runs off Mets starter Bartolo Colon.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. Joe Trezza is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tough month in the past, Martinez settles in

Tough month in the past, Martinez settles in

NEW YORK -- After navigating through various turns of the learning curve during his first three starts this month, Carlos Martinez settled himself considerably in Wednesday's 9-0 win over the Mets.

Martinez threw the first 6 1/3 innings of the team's fourth shutout of the season, just the second time in 16 career starts that he has not allowed a run. He needed Randal Grichuk's diving catch with the bases full in the third and Bartolo Colon's curious indecision about tagging up at third to keep the scoreboard empty, but otherwise ran into little trouble.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cards' offense 'clicking on all cylinders'

Cards' offense 'clicking on all cylinders'

NEW YORK -- After laboring to score one run over 14 innings in the series opener against the Mets, the Cardinals put together two of their biggest offensive performances of the season to ensure at least a series split. The runaway wins, including a 9-0 victory on Wednesday, also were key in helping a fatigued bullpen reset.

Unable to put together a six-run inning in their first 38 games, the Cardinals have now done so on back-to-back nights. Every starting position player reached base in both games, and both Kolten Wong and Matt Holliday tallied three hits in a game started by six-game winner Bartolo Colon.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cards go on the offensive in rout of Mets

Cards go on the offensive in rout of Mets

NEW YORK -- Strategizing against a lefty starting pitcher on Tuesday at Citi Field, the Cardinals opted to bench three of their best hitters -- all-left-handed -- on the same night.

They didn't seem to miss them.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Another night, another win for Wacha

Another night, another win for Wacha

NEW YORK -- Despite the burst of success he had in the 2013 postseason, right-hander Michael Wacha entered this season still needing to prove that he has the consistency and longevity necessary to take the next step in his Major League career.

He's wasting no time.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tuivailala adds cutter-like pitch to repertoire

Tuivailala adds cutter-like pitch to repertoire

NEW YORK -- Manager Mike Matheny had a dual purpose when he summoned Sam Tuivailala to pitch the ninth inning in Tuesday's 10-2 win over the Mets.

Matheny thought it important to give the 22-year-old right-hander an immediate opportunity to erase the taste of Monday's disappointing outing, but he also wanted to see how he responded when asked to throw something he never has.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

What a difference a day makes for Grichuk

What a difference a day makes for Grichuk

NEW YORK -- Two days, two very different nights for outfielder Randal Grichuk. Grichuk couldn't sleep after striking out five times in Monday's 14-inning marathon loss. On Tuesday he cleared his head, made contact in all five of his at-bats and clobbered three extra-base hits in St. Louis' 10-2 drubbing of the Mets at Citi Field.

"Last night was pretty pathetic," said Grichuk, who finished with a triple, two doubles and three RBIs. "It's not easy to forget about it, period. But after that first knock, I was able to relax a little bit, and I had fun the rest of the night.

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Joe Trezza is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Choate reaches first base for the first time

Choate reaches first base for the first time

NEW YORK -- Fifteen text messages were awaiting Randy Choate when he returned to the clubhouse following the Cardinals' 10-2 win over the Mets on Tuesday, including a screen shot of himself sent from his 10-year-old daughter.

Of all the images she's captured of dad, this was a new one.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lackey, Matheny have 'productive' talk

Lackey, Matheny have 'productive' talk

NEW YORK -- John Lackey and manager Mike Matheny had what Matheny described as a "productive conversation" on Tuesday, one day after Lackey expressed frustration at being pulled from his start after finishing seven innings on 76 pitches.

Matheny, with his club trailing, 1-0, heading into the eighth, sent pinch-hitter Peter Bourjos to lead off the inning in place of Lackey. The decision had everything to do with the Cardinals needing a run and having only six outs remaining.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Siegrist rediscovering some velocity

Siegrist rediscovering some velocity

NEW YORK -- Having mastered the mechanics he introduced during the spring, lefty Kevin Siegrist has now slowly been rediscovering some of the velocity those alterations briefly cost him.

Forced to change his delivery to cut down on his time to the plate, Siegrist found himself with a little less zip early. However, he's been reintroducing his leg kick, which, he explained, allows him to get through his delivery with more momentum. The result has been more mph, too.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Extra-inning victory vs. Mets isn't in the Cards

Extra-inning victory vs. Mets isn't in the Cards

NEW YORK -- It took them a few innings longer than Matt Harvey might have liked, but the Mets managed to win their third straight game -- 2-1 in 14 innings over the Cardinals on Monday night at Citi Field. Pinch-hitter John Mayberry Jr. hit a walk-off infield single in the 14th, salvaging victory for the Mets on a night when Harvey's eight shutout innings resulted in nothing more than a no-decision.

"They're one of the best teams in the league without a question," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "So when you go 14 innings, you'd like to leave with a smile on your face."

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lackey shows dominance in duel with Harvey

Lackey shows dominance in duel with Harvey

NEW YORK -- While most of the 23,338 fans at Citi Field on Monday night showed up to take in the next Matt Harvey performance, Cardinals starter John Lackey, 10 years Harvey's elder, went toe-to-toe with the Mets' stud right-hander in a pitchers' duel that extended well beyond both of their exits.

Lackey may have received a no-decision as the Cardinals dropped a 2-1 decision in 14 innings in the series opener, but he set up a come-from-behind chance with seven superb innings to follow Lance Lynn's 7 1/3-innings gem on Sunday. It would have allowed for another bullpen breather, too, had the Cardinals not extended the game to 14 innings.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Furcal retires, thanks Royals for opportunity

Furcal retires, thanks Royals for opportunity

KANSAS CITY -- Fourteen-year veteran Rafael Furcal retired suddenly on Monday night, moments before he was to be promoted to Triple-A Omaha.

Furcal, who had recently been promoted to Double-A Northwest Arkansas, has been dealing with a hamstring and back issue and informed the Royals that he was considering "shutting it down."

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Matheny proud of former Cards pitcher Miller

Matheny proud of former Cards pitcher Miller

NEW YORK -- The updates came as he was busy with his pregame preparation on Sunday, but Cardinals manager Mike Matheny took time to pause as each arrived. He wanted to follow the near no-hitter by former St. Louis pitcher Shelby Miller, who lost the no-no bid with two out in the ninth against the Marlins.

Miller, who was dealt to Atlanta as part of a four-player trade last November, is one of several former Cardinals that Matheny acknowledges keeping an eye on.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cardinals continue to shuffle leadoff hitters

Cardinals continue to shuffle leadoff hitters

NEW YORK -- The name that Cardinals manager Mike Matheny wrote in on the top line of his lineup card was all but automatic last season, when Matt Carpenter batted first in 156 regular-season games.

But the consistency that Carpenter provided atop the lineup has recently been replaced by fluidity, with the Cardinals having used four different leadoff batters over the last four games alone.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lynn, Wong lead Cards to win over Tigers

Lynn, Wong lead Cards to win over Tigers

ST. LOUIS -- Behind a tie-breaking, sixth-inning homer from Kolten Wong, the Cardinals nabbed a 2-1 win over the Tigers at Busch Stadium on Sunday night to avoid being swept for the first time this season.

The Tigers struck first in the matchup of defending division champs, with Miguel Cabrera driving in his fourth run of the series on a first-inning double. Cardinals starter Lance Lynn scattered only four singles throughout the rest of his 7 1/3-inning start, giving the Cardinals ample time to secure their 10th come-from-behind win of the year.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. Joe Harris is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lynn gives Cards innings they sorely needed

Lynn gives Cards innings they sorely needed

ST. LOUIS -- Needing someone else to shoulder the innings that have lately landed on the bullpen, the Cardinals squeezed all they could from starter Lance Lynn on Sunday. Lynn responded not only with a deep start but with a performance that set the club up to steal a 2-1 win before the Tigers left town.

Lynn threw a season-high 119 pitches before exiting with two on and one out in the eighth with his club clinging to a one-run lead. Seth Maness ended that mess with one pitch, setting Lynn up to earn his third win and mitigating the effects of some questionable ball-strike calls earlier in the frame.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.