Wong's walk-off homer caps thrilling series

Solo shot in 14th inning gives Cards third straight extra-inning walk-off win

Wong's walk-off homer caps thrilling series

ST. LOUIS -- Kolten Wong may have experienced a little déjà vu while rounding the bases in the bottom of the 14th against the Pirates on Sunday.

Wong's second home run of the season, a 421-foot blast deep into the right-field bleachers over the bullpen, gave the Cardinals their third consecutive walk-off win against the Pirates -- the latest by a 3-2 score. It was Wong's second career walk-off homer in the regular season, and both have come against the Bucs.

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

Cards walk off, sweep Bucs with Wong's homer

Cards walk off, sweep Bucs with Wong's homer

ST. LOUIS -- Kolten Wong's home run with one out in the 14th inning Sunday gave the Cardinals a 3-2 victory over the Pirates and extended to six a winning streak half-comprised of pulsating, extra-inning walk-off wins over Pittsburgh.

Wong's smash off Radhames Liz into the right-field seats above the Cardinals' bullpen punctuated an astonishingly well-pitched series in which St. Louis starters and relievers performed up to their National League-best ranking. Sunday's win followed 2-1 wins in 10 innings on Friday and in 11 innings on Saturday for St. Louis.

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Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. Follow him on Twitter @Tom_Singer. Joe Harris is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cards' pitching impressive in series vs. Bucs

Despite 'pen's scoreless streak ending, it only allows two runs; starters combine for 0.92 ERA

Cards' pitching impressive in series vs. Bucs

ST. LOUIS -- The scoreless streak put together by the Cardinals' bullpen may have been snapped at 21 1/3 innings, but nobody in the home clubhouse was complaining after Sunday's game against the Pirates.

In fact, a suddenly taxed Cardinals bullpen gave up a pair of runs in the series finale against the Bucs, but it wasn't enough for Pittsburgh as the Cardinals prevailed, 3-2, in 14 innings for their third consecutive walk-off win to sweep the series.

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

Martinez, Cardinals welcome in rival Cubs for first time

Martinez, Cardinals welcome in rival Cubs for first time

When he was 10 years old, Joe Maddon used to listen to the Cardinals games on his transistor radio, tuning into KMOX. He had become a fan of the Redbirds after his father took him to a Yankees-White Sox game, and offered to buy young Joe a cap. The youngster picked the Cardinals one because he liked the logo.

His favorites back then were Curt Flood and Lou Brock and Bob Gibson. Maddon fulfilled a childhood dream by managing at Busch Stadium in 2009 when he skippered the American League team in the All-Star Game. And Maddon's AL squad won, 4-3. He's also been there for five Interleague games with the Rays, and has a 3-2 record.

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Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB reveals 30 Honorary Bat Girl winners

MLB reveals 30 Honorary Bat Girl winners

Mother's Day is Sunday, and for Melissa Rupert of Liberty Township, Ohio, it will be the first one to celebrate as the mother of a baby boy named Noah.

"He's my entire world," Rupert said. "Every day, I hold my baby boy as tightly as he'll let me and remind myself that he is my rock and my joy, and I barely think about ... breast cancer."

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Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Walden placed on 15-day DL; Tuivailala recalled

Walden placed on 15-day DL; Tuivailala recalled

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals placed relief pitcher Jordan Walden on the 15-day disabled list before Sunday's game against the Pirates and have recalled fellow righty Sam Tuivailala from Triple-A Memphis.

Walden complained of biceps discomfort earlier this week and was held out of the past few games. The decision to put Walden on the DL came after he tried unsuccessfully to get ready for Saturday's game.

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

Lyons to pitch in Wainwright's place Tuesday

Lyons to pitch in Wainwright's place Tuesday

ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals manager Mike Matheny announced Sunday that righty Tyler Lyons will get the start on Tuesday against the Cubs.

Lyons will become the second pitcher to take Adam Wainwright's (left Achilles) spot in the rotation. Tim Cooney got the first shot and received a no-decision in just 2 1/3 innings of work in a 9-3 win over the Phillies on Thursday.

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

Cards notch another walk-off win vs. Bucs

Cards notch another walk-off win vs. Bucs

ST. LOUIS -- October baseball in early May? That's how it felt Saturday, when the Pirates and the Cardinals got into it for 11 more tense innings before Matt Carpenter's sacrifice fly off Jared Hughes with one out in the 11th gave St. Louis another 2-1 win. Their second consecutive extra-inning win over the Bucs by that score extended the Redbirds' winning streak to five.

Reverting to the last 2014 meeting of the teams, this was the Cardinals' third straight walk-off win over the Pirates, and fifth of their last eight home wins over Pittsburgh. The Pirates left 18 men on base -- 10 in scoring position -- and went 1-for-13 with RISP.

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Joe Harris is a contributor to MLB.com. Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. Follow him on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Confident Cardinals working together as a unit

St. Louis makes most of limited opportunities on offense to top Pirates

Confident Cardinals working together as a unit

ST. LOUIS -- Even though the Pirates had the majority of the scoring opportunities during Saturday's game at Busch Stadium, there was confidence in the Cardinals' dugout that somehow the Redbirds would find a way to win.

The Cardinals overcame five no-hit innings from Francisco Liriano, scratched across the tying run in the sixth and pulled ahead in the 11th for their second consecutive 2-1, extra-inning win against the Pirates.

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

Bullpen fuels Cards' 5-game winning streak

Bullpen fuels Cards' 5-game winning streak

ST. LOUIS -- Reliever Carlos Villanueva didn't want to hear about it, but the inevitable questions came anyway after five more scoreless innings by the Cardinals' bullpen Saturday against the Pirates.

Cardinals relievers have now pitched 20 consecutive scoreless innings, spanning five games. The bullpen's latest effort helped the Cardinals complete a 2-1 comeback win over the Pirates.

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

Aggressive baserunning pays off for Cardinals

Peralta leads double steal, then scores game-tying run in seventh

Aggressive baserunning pays off for Cardinals

ST. LOUIS -- With just 17 steals in his 13 years in the Majors, Cardinals shortstop Jhonny Peralta wasn't the most likely candidate to be the lead runner in a double steal with the game on the line.

But Peralta did just that Friday night against the Pirates. The steal in the seventh inning led to Peralta scoring the game-tying run and sent the game into extra innings, where the Cardinals won, 2-1, in the first game between two teams expecting to challenge for the National League Central crown.

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

Adams, Cardinals walk off Pirates in opener

Adams, Cardinals walk off Pirates in opener

ST. LOUIS -- On the night A.J. Burnett passed Sandy Koufax in career strikeouts, he and Lance Lynn recreated one of those fabulous Bob Gibson-Koufax pitching duels of the 1960s. The right-handers bequeathed a tie game to their respective bullpens, and Matt Adams' 10th-inning, two-out RBI single off Rob Scahill gave the Cardinals a 2-1 walk-off win over the Pirates on Friday in St. Louis in the season's first match between teams expected to fight it out for the National League Central title.

Matt Holliday had been issued an intentional walk by the right-handed Scahill to load the bases for the lefty-hitting Adams, who drilled a 1-1 pitch into left field for the winner.

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Joe Harris is a contributor to MLB.com. Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. Follow him on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Trio of Matts at it again for Cardinals

Adams, Holliday, Carpenter key win over Pirates

Trio of Matts at it again for Cardinals

ST. LOUIS -- In a game where runs were hard to come by, the Matts came through for the Cardinals once again against the Pirates on Friday night.

Matt Carpenter, Matt Holliday and Matt Adams were major parts of a two-out rally to score the game-winning walk-off run as the Cardinals beat the Pirates, 2-1, in 10 innings.

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

Reynolds, replay keep Cardinals in it

Successful challenge leads to game-tying single in seventh vs. Pirates

Reynolds, replay keep Cardinals in it

ST. LOUIS -- Mark Reynolds was signed by the Cardinals in the offseason to provide a power threat from the bench. On Friday against the Pirates, Reynolds showed that he can be more disciplined than the stereotypical homer-or-bust mentality.

Reynolds' infield single in the seventh tied the game and allowed the Cardinals to complete the comeback with a 2-1 win in 10 innings.

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

Cards call up Socolovich, option Cooney

Cards call up Socolovich, option Cooney

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals called up right-hander Miguel Socolovich from Triple-A Memphis before Friday's game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The team optioned righty Tim Cooney to Memphis and moved outfielder Tommy Pham (left quadriceps) from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list to make room for Socolovich on the 40-man roster.

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

Mattitude: Trio drives Cardinals past Phillies

Mattitude: Trio drives Cardinals past Phillies

ST. LOUIS -- Despite the less-than-desirable debut from lefty Tim Cooney, the Cardinals ended a four-game series against the Phillies with a 9-3 win at Busch Stadium on Thursday behind a blitz attack from the top half of their lineup.

In the third straight game featuring Matt Carpenter, Matt Holliday and Matt Adams as the team's No. 2-4 hitters, the Cardinals saw those three combine for seven hits, six runs, two walks and six RBIs. Successive hits by the three in the first inning dropped Phillies starter David Buchanan into a quick three-run 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 and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone. Follow him on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

No surprises during Waino's Achilles surgery

Cardinals hope ace is fully healed by start of Spring Training next year

No surprises during Waino's Achilles surgery

ST. LOUIS -- Adam Wainwright underwent successful surgery to repair his torn left Achilles on Thursday, Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak announced before the team's series finale against the Phillies. The procedure was performed by Dr. George Paletta, former head team physician, and attended by head athletic trainer Greg Hauk.

"[There were] no surprises, which was probably the best news, and they didn't have to use any extra material to reattach the tendon," Mozeliak said. "If the tear is not perfectly straight, there are times where a surgeon may have to use something else to reattach the tendon. But this was not the case."

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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 rolling on offense since lineup change

Club scores 25 runs over three games after Carpenter moves to two-hole

Cardinals rolling on offense since lineup change

ST. LOUIS -- The wheels had already started turning for Cardinals manager Mike Matheny when he engaged Matt Carpenter in casual conversation before the start of the team's series against the Phillies.

Matheny, sensing that a lineup shakeup might be needed, mentioned to Carpenter how the third baseman's skill set would fit so well in the second spot of the order. The challenge, Matheny said, would be finding the right replacement for Carpenter atop the lineup.

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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.

Lack of command hinders Cooney in debut

Cardinals lefty falls behind majority of hitters before exiting in third inning

Lack of command hinders Cooney in debut

ST. LOUIS -- Reality didn't entirely measure up to the dream for lefty Tim Cooney, whose presence in the Cardinals' 9-3 win over the Phillies turned out to be rather brief. In covering only 2 1/3 innings, Cooney posted the shortest start by a Cardinals pitcher making his debut since Donovan Osborne in 1992.

An opportunity to stick a while longer as a rotation replacement for Adam Wainwright may have slipped through Cooney's fingers about as quickly as the three-run lead he was staked to in the first inning on Thursday. Afterward, manager Mike Matheny acknowledged the possibility that the Cardinals might make a roster move before Friday's game. If so, Cooney would likely be the one on the way out.

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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.

Villanueva comfortable as 'insurance policy'

Cards righty comes through in long relief, and he could make start if needed

Villanueva comfortable as 'insurance policy'

ST. LOUIS -- At least a cursory candidate for Thursday's start before the Cardinals assigned it to Tim Cooney, Carlos Villanueva may have pitched himself into stronger consideration for a spot start in five days.

Villanueva began a string of six no-hit innings by the Cardinals' bullpen in the team's 9-3 win over the Phillies. The veteran righty, who had been sparingly used this year because of the lack of long-relief need, helped bail Cooney out of a third inning en route to retiring every batter he faced.

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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.

Gonzales to resume throwing soon

Cardinals prospect has been sidelined due to tightness in left pectoral muscle

Gonzales to resume throwing soon

ST. LOUIS -- Lefty Marco Gonzales, who stopped throwing after his April 20 start due to tightness in his left pectoral muscle, is expected to resume playing catch late this week. Assuming Gonzales has no additional setbacks, Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said he expects the lefty to make his next Triple-A Memphis start on or around May 10.

The timing of Gonzales' injury precluded him from being considered an immediate rotation replacement for Adam Wainwright. He'll need to make at least one Minor League start to prove his health and build back arm strength before the Cardinals would reconsider him for a Major League starting job.

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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.

Holliday, Molina seeking 7th All-Star Game appearances

Holliday, Molina seeking 7th All-Star Game appearances

ST. LOUIS -- On Wednesday, Major League Baseball released its 2015 All-Star Game ballot, which features the eight Cardinals position players who took the field as part of the team's Opening Day lineup.

Five of the eight have been All-Stars before, including left fielder Matt Holliday and catcher Yadier Molina, who have been voted to an All-Star team six times apiece. Molina has actually been a part of the last six NL All-Star teams. Matt Carpenter (twice), Jhonny Peralta (twice) and Jason Heyward (once) have also been All-Stars.

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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 This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Stanley learns plenty during first callup with Cardinals

Catcher optioned to Triple-A Memphis to make room for Cooney

Stanley learns plenty during first callup with Cardinals

ST. LOUIS -- Catcher Cody Stanley rejoined the Triple-A Memphis club on Thursday after being optioned out to create a place on the Cardinals' 25-man roster for lefty Tim Cooney.

Stanley, who had three pinch-hit at-bats during his four-day stay, takes with him a stack of information gleaned from watching how catchers Yadier Molina and Tony Cruz go about preparing for a 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.

Bourjos' RBI triple sparks four-run fifth as Cards down Phils

Bourjos' RBI triple sparks four-run fifth as Cards down Phils

ST. LOUIS -- Buoyed by a four-run fifth against a pitcher that had allowed that many runs in his first four starts combined, the Cardinals grabbed a 5-2 win over the Phillies at Busch Stadium on Wednesday to ensure that they'll end April without losing a single series.

All five runs came against Philadelphia righty Aaron Harang, now 7-16 in his career against the Cardinals. Harang held a 2-1 lead until the Cardinals batted around in the fifth while scoring four runs in an inning for the first time this year. Kolten Wong, who had earlier delivered an RBI hit, sparked the big inning with a leadoff single. Five consecutive batters then reached with one out to run the Cardinals' lead to three.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bourjos makes most of rare opportunity

Cardinals outfielder triples, singles and makes a great catch in start

Bourjos makes most of rare opportunity

ST. LOUIS -- Placing his confidence in Peter Bourjos' career success against Aaron Harang (7-for-15) and not the outfielder's season start (1-for-10 with a .250 OBP), manager Mike Matheny made the somewhat unexpected move of placing the speedy center fielder in the leadoff spot Wednesday.

Bourjos took the opportunity -- just his second start all season -- and ran with it. Literally.

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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.

Shift helps Wong rack up career-high 10 assists

Cards frustrate Howard with effective use of defense

Shift helps Wong rack up career-high 10 assists

ST. LOUIS -- The Phillies' left-handed lineup kept Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong especially active in Wednesday's 5-2 win. He finished with a career-high 10 assists, also the most of any player in the Majors this season.

He also made it a particularly frustrating night for Ryan Howard, who may have finished with his 12th career four-hit night had the Cardinals not employed such a successful defensive shift against him.

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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.