ST. LOUIS -- Lefty Jaime Garcia returned to the mound on Saturday to throw his bullpen session, a necessary step before the Cardinals clear him to start in one of Tuesday's doubleheader games.
Garcia twice declined to comment on the session afterward, though manager Mike Matheny said it went fine and that "everything is pointing in the direction that he'll be OK." As long as Garcia recovers well from the test, he should make his scheduled start against the Cubs. Garcia last pitched on June 24, but he has since been dealing with a nagging left groin strain.
ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals added an extra arm to the bullpen on Saturday, summoning reliever Mitch Harris from Triple-A and clearing a roster spot for him by optioning infielder Greg Garcia to Memphis.
The move, which represents the Cardinals' third player transaction in as many days, leaves the club with a four-man bench and an eight-man bullpen.
ST. LOUIS -- Padres second baseman Jedd Gyorko delivered a game-tying home run and the game-winning single to send San Diego to a 2-1 win over St. Louis in front of a sellout crowd at Busch Stadium. St. Louis has now lost four straight, its longest losing streak of the season.
Gyorko took Cards starter Michael Wacha deep in the seventh for his third home run of the season and then stepped to the plate against Trevor Rosenthal after Yangervis Solarte's one-out triple in the ninth. Rosenthal, who hadn't been scored upon since May 3, served up the RBI single on the eighth pitch of the at-bat.
ST. LOUIS -- The FBI's investigation into an unauthorized entry into the Houston Astros' database has concluded, and federal investigators have recommended that at least one Cardinals employee be charged, CNN reported on Friday. The report did not identify that employee.
The Cardinals have been under investigation by the FBI and Justice Department for several months regarding the matter. According to The New York Times, which broke the story on June 16, evidence was found that at least one Cardinals employee illegally accessed a database that contained internal discussions of trades and scouting reports.
ST. LOUIS -- On Friday, one night after pitching around a runner on third with one out in a tie game, reliever Trevor Rosenthal found himself needing to repeat the escape act against the Padres. The situations may have been identical, but the contrast in conclusions left the Cardinals with a 2-1 loss.
This time Rosenthal slipped, allowing Jedd Gyorko to line an elevated slider for a tie-breaking RBI single that sent the Cardinals to their fourth straight defeat. The run allowed also halted Rosenthal's 23 2/3-inning scoreless streak, which dated back to May 5 and represented the longest string of scoreless innings by a National League reliever this season.
ST. LOUIS -- Trading two outs for a run is hardly a feat worth celebrating, but if you were looking for offensive highlights from the Cardinals' 2-1 loss to the Padres at Busch Stadium on Friday night, that was the most appealing option.
Xavier Scruggs grounded into a double play that sent home Jason Heyward in the fifth inning, and that was the only offense St. Louis could muster in its fourth straight loss.
ST. LOUIS -- Down to three true outfielders with Matt Holliday and Jon Jay on the disabled list, the Cardinals fortified their outfield depth on Friday by recalling Tommy Pham from Triple-A Memphis. Manager Mike Matheny wasted no time getting Pham involved, either, starting him in center as the No. 8 hitter in the second of four games against the Padres.
"He's the hottest bat down there, and we need a spark right now, trying to get some offense going," said Matheny, whose club has scored five runs during its current three-game losing streak. "[It's] an opportunity to get Tommy in and see if he can continue doing what he's been doing."
ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals optioned left-hander Tim Cooney to Triple-A Memphis on Friday but haven't ruled out the possibility of bringing him back next week to throw in Tuesday's doubleheader against the Cubs.
Cooney allowed three runs (two earned) over six innings in a no-decision against the Padres on Thursday. It was his second Major League start and certainly a better showing than his first, against the Phillies on April 30, an outing that lasted just 2 1/3 innings.
ST. LOUIS -- In a season thus far highlighted by winning streaks, the 51-win Cardinals find themselves stuck in bit of an uncharacteristic rut. For the first time this year, the club has dropped three straight home games, the most recent a 5-3, 11-inning loss to the Padres on Thursday night.
The script was similar in this one as it had been in the pair of losses to the White Sox that preceded it. Miscues on defense proved costly. And an inability to capitalize with runners in scoring position stung.
ST. LOUIS -- Matt Carpenter does not need to work longer hours, his manager insists. In fact, Mike Matheny recently threatened -- jokingly, of course -- to fine Carpenter for every minute early he showed up to the ballpark.
Instead, coaxing the Cardinals third baseman back to his early season ways at the plate is a matter of Carpenter working smarter, not harder, Matheny said before Thursday's 5-3, 11-inning loss to the Padres at Busch Stadium.
David Cobb is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
All-Star starters unveiled Sunday, full rosters Monday
Watch selection shows on ESPN; Final Vote to get underway Monday
By Mark Newman
It was historic because it happened exclusively online. It was personal because it decided the fate of your favorite players. It was intense because you argued a lot. And it was teamwork because you helped shatter a Major League Baseball record.
After 65 consecutive days of relentless fan voting to determine starting positions players for the 86th All-Star Game on July 14 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, the largest All-Star balloting program in sports closed at 11:59 p.m. ET Thursday.
The win snapped San Diego's three-game losing streak and sent St. Louis to a third straight home loss for the first time this year. Venable's blast came after the Padres successfully challenged Clint Barmes' drive down the right-field line that stayed in fair territory. It had initially been ruled foul.
ST. LOUIS -- Scouting director Chris Correa, a member of the Cardinals' front office since 2009, was dismissed by the organization on Wednesday after he admitted to accessing the Astros' database without authorization. General manager John Mozeliak confirmed the firing, which was first reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Thursday afternoon.
The Cardinals have been under investigation by the FBI and Justice Department for several months regarding unauthorized entry into the Astros' computer systems. According to The New York Times, which broke the story on June 16, evidence was discovered that at least one Cardinals employee illegally accessed a database that contained internal discussions of trades and scouting reports.
ST. LOUIS -- Due to continued discomfort around his left wrist, Cardinals outfielder Jon Jay was placed on the 15-day disabled list for the second time this year on Thursday with what the club defined as a left wrist stress reaction and bone bruise.
Jay underwent offseason surgery to address the wrist discomfort he has played with on and off for years, and the wrist is structurally sound, he said Thursday. The objective for this break is to "calm everything down," he added.
David Cobb is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Cards agree to deal with Seijas, No. 11 on int'l prospects list
By Jenifer Langosch and Jesse Sanchez
ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals signed five players on Thursday, the first day of Major League Baseball's international signing period, highlighted by right-hander Alvaro Seijas out of Venezuela. Seijas, 16, ranked No. 11 on MLB.com's Top 30 International Prospects list.
The organization also reached agreements with shortstop Raffy Ozuna (Dominican Republic), right-hander Anthony Trompiz (Venezuela), right-hander Brian Pirela (Venezuela) and right-hander Noel De Jesus (Dominican Republic).
The Cardinals are on pace to have the single greatest earned run prevention season of the last 100 years. There's plenty of qualifiers to that and reasons why it's not likely to keep up over the course of the entire year, but over the first three months, that's a cold hard fact. They're preventing runs in a way no one alive has ever really seen before -- and they're doing it without ace Adam Wainwright, who injured his Achilles tendon in just his fourth start of the season.
We'll get to how they're doing it, but first, let's explain how we can make that exclamatory statement. In order to compare across seasons and eras, we're using a relatively simple metric called "ERA-," read as "ERA minus," which sets league-average as 100. If you're familiar with OPS+ or ERA+, it's the exact same principle, except that excellent ERA marks are supposed to be lower, not higher. The Cardinals have a 69 ERA-, which means they're preventing earned runs 31 percent better than league average, a mark not topped since the 1909 Cubs of Three-Finger Brown and Orval Overall.
ST. LOUIS -- Ponchos and umbrellas became a common sight at Busch Stadium during the wettest June and second-wettest month the city has ever seen, and the trend washed into July as the Cardinals dropped a thrice rain-delayed 7-1 decision to the White Sox on a Wednesday night that dragged into Thursday morning.
Six of the last nine scheduled St. Louis home games have been affected in some way by Mother Nature, including a June 14 game against the Royals that was washed out completely and postponed to July 23.
ST. LOUIS -- After wading through a rain-delayed start and two subsequent in-game weather stoppages, the White Sox completed their two-game stop at Busch Stadium with a 7-1 victory on Wednesday to secure back-to-back wins over the Cardinals.
Melky Cabrera's leadoff homer off Cards starter John Lackey in the sixth broke a 1-1 tie and helped lift the White Sox to consecutive road wins for the first time since May. The Cardinals, on the other hand, suffered back-to-back home losses for just the second time all year.
ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals had no shortage of run-scoring opportunities on Wednesday, but they lacked the timely hit for a second straight day against a White Sox pitching staff that arrived in town with the American League's second-highest ERA (4.18).
In racing out to 51 wins over their first 75 games, the Cardinals ranked fifth in the National League with a .270 average hitting with runners in scoring position. Being opportunistic has been necessary, too, given the difficulty the offense has had in its attempt to gain traction.
ST. LOUIS -- While the rest of the Cardinals' offense spent the night tied up by White Sox starter Chris Sale and swinging through a high percentage of his pitches, Randal Grichuk went up for each at-bat feeling like he had the advantage.
And apparently he did, as half of the six hits Sale scattered over his eight-inning start in Chicago's 2-1 win over the Cards on Thursday came off Grichuk's bat. Among them was a towering 448-foot homer that came to rest in the Big Mac Land section in left field. It was the longest home run hit by a Cardinals player at Busch Stadium this season.
ST. LOUIS -- The White Sox capped a history-making night by starter Chris Sale with an 11-inning, 2-1 win to open a two-game set against the Cardinals at Busch Stadium on Tuesday. Tyler Flowers' two-out solo homer off reliever Miguel Socolovich in the deciding frame snapped a string of seven scoreless innings by the White Sox offense and put an end to St. Louis' six-game winning streak.
The loss was just the second suffered by the Cardinals at home this month and spoiled their quest for the first 10-game winning streak at Busch Stadium III.
ST. LOUIS -- There was no glamour for Lance Lynn on Tuesday night, no making history like his counterpart did, just another workmanlike outing from a guy whose walkout song proclaims that he belongs to the "blue collar crowd."
Lynn made his 14th start of the year for the Cardinals and dealt with plenty of frustration in an 11-inning, 2-1 St. Louis loss to the White Sox at Busch Stadium. But in his six innings of work, the 28-year-old righty kept the Cardinals deadlocked against one of the game's premier pitchers in Chicago's Chris Sale.
ST. LOUIS -- Five days after first feeling stiffness near his right elbow and forearm, Matt Belisle was placed on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday in a move that the Cardinals hope will give the right-handed reliever the necessary time to heal from the injury. Reliever Marcus Hatley had his contract purchased from Triple-A to fill the bullpen vacancy.
Belisle did not pitch in the Cardinals' weekend series against the Cubs, but it wasn't publicly known until Tuesday that his absence had been intentional. About an hour after throwing a scoreless inning in an appearance against the Marlins last Thursday, Belisle began to feel soreness in his arm. He woke up the following day with a limited range of motion.
ST. LOUIS -- After spending parts of nine seasons in the Minors, right-hander Marcus Hatley received his first big league summons on Tuesday.
After the congratulatory phone call from Triple-A manager Mike Shildt sunk in, Hatley quickly packed a few bags and made the drive north from Memphis so he could be available for Tuesday's game against the White Sox. The Cardinals purchased Hatley's contract and added him to the 40-man roster by shifting reliever Jordan Walden to the 60-day disabled list.
Cardinals' third-round pick hits two home runs in his first game with State College
By Alex M. Smith
Less than a week after being named to the 2015 College World Series All-Tournament team, Harrison Bader is transitioning well to the pro game.
St. Louis' third-round pick was fantastic in his debut with Rookie League State College on Tuesday night, clubbing two homers as part of a 2-for-4, three-RBI performance. Alas, the Spikes couldn't muster additional offensive production in a 5-3 loss to Staten Island.
Alex M. Smith is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Waino eyes comeback before season's end
After tearing left Achilles tendon in April, Cards' ace pushes limits of return timetable
By David Cobb
ST. LOUIS -- Adam Wainwright sat at his Busch Stadium locker in full uniform on Friday before the Cardinals opened a series against the Cubs. He had some photo obligations that required him to wear a pair of white baseball pants, which clung tightly to the walking boot on his left foot.
No, Wainwright was not planning to be in the dugout that night, he explained.
ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals tallied only eight hits in Sunday's series finale against the Cubs, but they maximized the output by turning most of them into two-baggers.
Before the Cubs recorded an out in the fifth inning of an eventual 4-1 Cardinlas win, St. Louis had already notched a half-dozen doubles. That's the total at which they finished, which was good enough to set a game high for the season. It also marked the most the club has had in a home game since an April 30, 2014, win over the Brewers.