Carpenter back in MVP-caliber form

Carpenter back in MVP-caliber form

ST. LOUIS -- For those who thought it unlikely that Matt Carpenter would ever match his 2013 offensive numbers, the third baseman had a bold statement to offer following the club's 6-1 victory over the Reds on Friday.

"I feel as close to if not better than I felt in 2013," Carpenter asserted. "Everything is kind of clicking right now."

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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.

Yadi's clutch double vs. Cueto sinks Reds

Yadi's clutch double vs. Cueto sinks Reds

ST. LOUIS -- Yadier Molina's three-run double off Reds ace Johnny Cueto in the seventh inning broke open a tie game and sent the Cardinals on their way to a 6-1 victory in Friday night's series opener at Busch Stadium.

Both Cueto and Cardinals starting pitcher Michael Wacha allowed first-inning runs, and the score remained 1-1 until the seventh. Wacha stranded a runner at third to close the top half of that frame, but Cueto couldn't match the damage control. Following his leadoff single, Matt Holliday moved to third when Jhonny Peralta bounced a hit over the glove of Reds left fielder Marlon Byrd.

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Jenifer Langosch and Mark Sheldon are reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wacha changes up approach to keep Reds off balance

Wacha changes up approach to keep Reds off balance

ST. LOUIS -- Though the final line (a quality start with five hits and one run allowed in seven innings) matched the one he posted in a start against the Reds a week ago, Cardinals right-hander Michael Wacha went with a different look against the same opponent in Friday's 6-1 win.

Perhaps that was why he could match the success despite the Reds' familiarity with his repertoire.

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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.

Carpenter channels Willie Mays Hayes with acrobatic run

Carpenter channels Willie Mays Hayes with acrobatic run

ST. LOUIS -- Trying to score from third base on Matt Holliday's first-inning fly ball to Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton on Friday, Matt Carpenter used some split-second improvisation by somersaulting over catcher Brayan Pena, a la Wesley Snipes' Willie Mays Hayes from the movie "Major League."

And it actually worked.

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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.

Cards honor Red's legacy

Cards honor Red's legacy

ST. LOUIS -- Seventy years before Kris Bryant made his much-anticipated debut at Wrigley Field, the ballpark on Chicago's north side served as the setting for the debut of a future Hall of Famer.

Batting fourth for the visiting Cardinals, Red Schoendienst went 1-for-4 with a triple in a loss to the Cubs that day. What he remembers, though, was the error he committed in left field, just as he had committed an error in his first professional game for Class D Albany (Ga.) some three years earlier. Sitting in a Union City, Tenn., clubhouse after that debut, Schoendienst was approached by then-Cardinals executive Branch Rickey.

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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.

Cards seek 4th straight win as Martinez faces Reds

Cards seek 4th straight win as Martinez faces Reds

The awaited 2015 debut of Reds pitcher Homer Bailey will come on Saturday afternoon when the Cardinals host Cincinnati in a 1:15 p.m. CT scheduled first pitch at Busch Stadium. Carlos Martinez will start for St. Louis in his home debut.

Bailey hasn't pitched in the regular season since he had Sept. 5 surgery to repair a torn tendon near his right elbow. Meanwhile, Martinez will be making his third appearance and second start of the season. In a no-decision vs. the Reds on Sunday, he gave up two earned runs and four hits, including a pair of homers, with two walks and eight strikeouts.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Matt Carpenter's slide to score is gold medal-worthy

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Matt Carpenter's slide to score is gold medal-worthy

Dear International Olympic Committee, 

Though the Summer Olympics aren't until next year, we would like to see that Matt Carpenter is awarded an early gold medal in gymnastics for this slide into home from Friday's Reds-Cardinals game

Continue Reading on Cut4

Garcia at least 6 weeks from rejoining Cardinals

Garcia at least 6 weeks from rejoining Cardinals

ST. LOUIS -- Though lefty Jaime Garcia took another small step forward on Friday by facing hitters for the first time since March 24, the Cardinals don't expect him to factor into their Major League plans for at least six more weeks.

That projection came from general manager John Mozeliak, who likened Garcia's live batting-practice session on Friday to the one pitchers throw the second week of Spring Training. Garcia, who is battling left shoulder inflammation, will keep building up from there, throwing another live BP session on Monday and then either throwing an additional one midweek or appearing in an extended spring training game.

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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.

Deceptive slider key to Lackey's domination

Right-hander strikes out 8 Brewers, all swinging

Deceptive slider key to Lackey's domination

ST. LOUIS -- Pitching out of a rotation that has claim to the National League's lowest ERA through the first 12 days of the season, John Lackey can boast of delivering the most dominant performance by a Cardinals starter to date in Thursday's 4-0 victory over the Brewers at Busch Stadium.

He became the club's first pitcher to finish seven innings, and did it on a day in which manager Mike Matheny desperately wanted to find rest for a weary 'pen. Lackey, en route to earning his first win of the season, struck out eight (all swinging) and did not allow the Brewers to advance a runner to third. He held down the Brewers mainly behind a slider-fastball mix.

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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.

Lackey goes 7 in Cardinals' shutout of Brewers

Lackey goes 7 in Cardinals' shutout of Brewers

ST. LOUIS -- After five innings of watching starters Mike Fiers and John Lackey trade zeros on the scoreboard, the Cardinals, buoyed once again by Matt Carpenter and Matt Holliday, broke out with enough late offense to steal a 4-0 win and series victory over the Brewers on Thursday afternoon at Busch Stadium.

Carpenter contributed a pair of doubles (his third and fourth of the season), both of which highlighted run-scoring innings. His leadoff double off of Fiers in the sixth put him in position to score on Holliday's one-out single to center. An RBI double from former Brewer Mark Reynolds, making his second start of the season, padded the lead later in the inning. More >

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

Timing is right for Yadi to get hot

Slow offensive start muted by recent stretch

Timing is right for Yadi to get hot

ST. LOUIS -- Yadier Molina's 0-for-10 season start seemed like old news by the time the Cardinals sealed a 4-0 win over the Brewers on Thursday. With another two hits in the victory, Molina recorded his third multi-hit performance in five games and perhaps muffled some of the outside curiosity about whether his winter weight loss could result in decreased offensive proficiency.

Molina, 8-for-19 since Saturday, has been in the middle of at least one run-scoring inning in four of the last five games. His RBI single off of Brewers reliever Tyler Thornburg in the eighth on Thursday tacked on the Cardinals' final run and allowed manager Mike Matheny to hold closer Trevor Rosenthal out of the game.

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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.

Reynolds responds with 2 hits in rare start

Knocks in first RBI in opportunity vs. righty

Reynolds responds with 2 hits in rare start

ST. LOUIS -- A flurry of early off-days and the absence of any opposing left-handed starters since Opening Day has left manager Mike Matheny little obvious opportunity to get his right-handed-hitting bench players involved. And so Matheny forced the issue on Thursday, opting to plug Mark Reynolds into the starting lineup for just the second time this season.

Reynolds responded with a multi-hit game that featured a key RBI -- his first as a Cardinal -- in St. Louis' 4-0 win over Milwaukee.

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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.

Cards honor trailblazing scout on Jackie Robinson Day

Cards honor trailblazing scout on Jackie Robinson Day

ST. LOUIS -- For the seventh straight season on Wednesday, all players and uniformed personnel donned No. 42 as part of Major League Baseball's Jackie Robinson Day celebration.

Cardinals players found their No. 42 jerseys hanging at their lockers upon arriving to Busch Stadium for the second game of a three-game series against the Brewers. In addition to having everyone on the field wear the same number, the bases for Wednesday's game were marked for the occasion.

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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.

Lynn reaches 50 wins in 99th start

Lynn reaches 50 wins in 99th start

ST. LOUIS -- Having previously become just the seventh Cardinals pitcher to win 40 games before making his 100th career appearance, Lance Lynn added the 50-win milestone to his resume on Wednesday night, in his 99th start.

Lynn downplayed the significance -- "It means I play for a pretty good team," he said after the Cardinals' 4-2 win over the Brewers.-- but it has been a quick ascent to No. 50 for a pitcher who didn't join the rotation full-time until 2012. Since then, his 49 wins are the fourth-most in the Majors.

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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.

Matheny concerned with bullpen's early-season workload

Matheny concerned with bullpen's early-season workload

ST. LOUIS -- As manager Mike Matheny made his congratulatory postgame rounds following the Cardinals' 4-2 win over the Brewers on Wednesday night, he intentionally gravitated toward the relief corps. On a night when Lance Lynn notched a milestone victory and the offense showcased its depth, Matheny had a message for the mostly unsung bunch out of the bullpen.

Their contributions, though appreciated, can't continue at this pace.

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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.

Cardinals edge Brewers for first home victory

Cardinals edge Brewers for first home victory

ST. LOUIS -- Behind two RBIs from Matt Holliday and three hits from Yadier Molina, the Cardinals displayed a steady attack against Brewers starter Wily Peralta to even the three-game series with a 4-2 victory on Wednesday night. It was St. Louis' first win of the season at Busch Stadium.

Peralta, who gave up eight earned runs in five starts against the Cards last season, allowed half that many over the first four frames of this five-inning effort. He found himself in a two-run hole six pitches into his night after the Cardinals opened with three straight hits.

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Jenifer Langosch and Adam McCalvy are reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Bernie Pleskoff

Pleskoff: Gonzales a potential weapon for Cards

Pleskoff: Gonzales a potential weapon for Cards

People have come to expect tremendous pitching depth from the St. Louis Cardinals. Left-hander Marco Gonzales is another in the long line of pitchers the club has developed.

Gonzales attended Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins, Col. He earned All-Colorado honors in his sophomore, junior and senior seasons. In his senior year, he went 11-0 with a 2.20 ERA and 87 strikeouts in 54 innings. He hit .486 as well.

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Bernie Pleskoff has served as a professional scout for the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners. Follow @BerniePleskoff on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Garcia still in Cardinals' plans for 2015?

Beat reporter Jenifer Langosch answers questions from St. Louis fans

Inbox: Garcia still in Cardinals' plans for 2015?

ST. LOUIS -- With the season now a little more than a week old, it's time to resurrect the Inbox, which will again be a regular cardinals.com feature this season. Submit questions through the link below, and keep in mind that I will also periodically answer fan questions on MLB Network's MLB Now program. Only questions submitted along with your name and hometown will be considered.

What is Jaime Garcia up to in his rehab?
-- Justin H., Little Rock, Ark.

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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.

'Visionary' Carlton a candidate for Cards' Hall of Fame

'Visionary' Carlton a candidate for Cards' Hall of Fame

This is the eighth in a series of stories profiling the eight modern candidates on the Cardinals' 2015 Hall of Fame ballot.

There are few who know Steve Carlton better than Tim McCarver. Of the 741 times Carlton took the mound in a Major League game, McCarver was behind the plate for 236 of them -- nearly 100 more than any other player who caught the Hall of Fame hurler.

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Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Defensive execution lacking in Cards' home debut

Wong commits 2 errors; Wainwright opens door with uneven outing

Defensive execution lacking in Cards' home debut

ST. LOUIS -- A year after playing 55 one-run games, the Cardinals have opened the 2015 once again allowing themselves little room for error. It even led manager Mike Matheny's wife to recently caution her husband that she wasn't sure she could go through a season with so many close games again.

"That wasn't encouraging news," quipped Matheny, who has seen his team's first six games determined by a total of 12 runs.

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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.

MLB head of youth sports Reagins discusses game's future

MLB head of youth sports Reagins discusses game's future

LOS ANGELES -- Tony Reagins has spent decades in the game of baseball, and he's worked in everything from marketing to baseball operations. Reagins, formerly the general manager of the Angels, has taken on a new assignment with Major League Baseball as the senior vice president of youth programs, and he took some time Tuesday to discuss his plans for the future.

Reagins, under new Commissioner Rob Manfred, will be in charge of consolidating the league's relationships with youth, high school and college baseball organizations around the country. Reagins attended the Civil Rights Game instructional clinic Tuesday at Rancho Cienega Recreation Center, and he spoke a bit about Jackie Robinson, the Urban Youth Academies and the future of the game.

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Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Defense lets down Wainwright, Cards in home opener

Defense lets down Wainwright, Cards in home opener

ST. LOUIS -- The game was hardly as pristine as the pregame ceremonies that marked the Cardinals' home opener on Monday, but it would be the Brewers who made the most of extra chances to grab a 5-4 series-opening win.

A crowd of 47,875, the largest in Busch Stadium III history, was on hand to watch the two National League Central clubs combine for four errors, four unearned runs and several other sloppy plays in the first of 19 head-to-head games this season. Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong and Brewers shortstop Jean Segura, both typically steady fielders, each committed a pair of miscues that led to run-scoring 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 and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Parade, tributes part of Cardinals' tradition

Busch Stadium comes alive with baseball's return

Parade, tributes part of Cardinals' tradition

ST. LOUIS -- With the arrival of the Hall of Famers and the introduction of the Cardinals' 2015 roster, St. Louis welcomed baseball back to town on Monday.

After playing five games on the road, the Cardinals opened their 81-game home slate with Adam Wainwright's first pitch to the Brewers' Carlos Gomez in front of a sellout crowd at Busch Stadium. That followed a pregame ceremony that kicked off with the Budweiser Clydesdales and lasted about 45 minutes.

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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.

Cards surprised by Reds' ire over Heyward's 'dirty' slide

Price calls for response for play at third in fifth

Cards surprised by Reds' ire over Heyward's 'dirty' slide

ST. LOUIS -- With his postgame comments regarding Jason Heyward's fifth-inning slide on Sunday, Reds manager Bryan Price caught many within the Cardinals organization by surprise and may have added another layer of intrigue to the teams' upcoming series in St. Louis this weekend.

Following the Cardinals' 7-5 win, Price, unprompted, expressed some disgust in the way Heyward slid into third baseman Todd Frazier while trying to advance to third on an RBI double. Price called the slide "dirty," adding that "it could have really affected Frazier, and I'm not happy about that and nor are any of our players."

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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.

Lefty Garcia moving toward live BP session

Has not faced hitters since March 24 sim game

Lefty Garcia moving toward live BP session

ST. LOUIS -- If left-hander Jaime Garcia recovers well from the bullpen session he threw on Sunday and can repeat the exercise without issue on Wednesday, he is expected to face hitters in live batting practice at extended spring camp on Friday.

That would mark the first time Garcia has thrown to batters since March 24, when he threw 80 pitches in a simulated game toward the end of the Grapefruit League season. Garcia did not recover well from that outing and, as a result, opened the season on the 15-day disabled list with inflammation in his left shoulder.

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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.

Minor Matters: Flaherty evaluated after short debut

Minor Matters: Flaherty evaluated after short debut

ST. LOUIS -- Some news and notes from down on the Cardinals' farm:

• Right-hander Jack Flaherty, the No. 34 overall pick in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft and ranked No. 5 among the club's Top 30 Prospects by MLB.com, was scheduled to be evaluated by the club's medical staff on Monday after exiting his season debut after throwing only 49 pitches. General manager John Mozeliak said the organization anticipates Flaherty is dealing with dead arm/fatigue and nothing more serious. Flaherty opened the season with the Cardinals' Class A Peoria (Ill.) affiliate.

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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.