Piscotty, Moss impress from both sides of ball

Both players key offense, make standout plays on defense vs. Phillies

Piscotty, Moss impress from both sides of ball

ST. LOUIS -- Brandon Moss and Stephen Piscotty found themselves making their first impressions simultaneously last season, with Moss a Trade Deadline arrival to St. Louis and Piscotty a late-July callup. The latter exceeded expectations, while the former didn't live up to them.

This season, however, they're both filling needed roles, with Moss flaunting the power that helped him resurrect a once-flailing career and Piscotty showcasing a repeat ability to thrive. Both were key, too, in helping the Cardinals secure a 4-0 win over the Phillies on Thursday.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. 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 blank Phils behind stellar Garcia

Cards blank Phils behind stellar Garcia

ST. LOUIS -- After a string of three subpar starts, Jaime Garcia looked in ideal form on Thursday as he pitched the Cardinals to a 4-0 victory and series win over the Phillies at Busch Stadium.

Garcia may well have gone the distance had the Cardinals not opted to replace him with a seventh-inning pinch-hitter in an effort to run up their one-run lead. The move worked, too, as a two-out, two-run single by Stephen Piscotty capped a three-run inning.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. 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 Harris is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Phillies on Thursday.

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

Mom keeps baseball-crazy Piscotty family grounded

Cardinals outfielder, his two younger brothers, dad can be consumed by game

Mom keeps baseball-crazy Piscotty family grounded

ST. LOUIS -- It's a Saturday night at the Pleasanton, Calif., home of Gretchen and Michael Piscotty, who are beginning to unwind after another day spent at the ballpark.

They had just driven the 40 minutes back to their home from Moraga, where the youngest of their three sons is a sophomore infielder for the St. Mary's Gaels. They stayed around after the game to take him and his friends out to dinner, and they would be returning again the following day for the rubber game of the series. There's a family tailgate to attend, as well.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. 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.

Adams day to day with left leg contusion

Adams day to day with left leg contusion

ST. LOUIS -- Matt Adams exited Thursday's 4-0 win over the Phillies after four innings due to a left leg contusion that he suffered after getting tangled up with a baserunner as he took a throw to end the first inning.

Manager Mike Matheny said the Cardinals don't expect Adams to miss much more time, if any, but rather made the move as a precautionary measure. Adams felt his left quad tighten up in the innings that followed the collision. The Cards didn't want to risk further injury to Adams, who missed three months last season with a strain in his right quad.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. 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.

Martinez, Cards welcome rival Pirates

Martinez, Cards welcome rival Pirates

After the Pirates' series sweep of the Cardinals in Pittsburgh during Opening Week, arguably the most tightly contested rivalry in baseball will return to St. Louis this weekend. The Bucs and Cards, neck and neck in the National League Central over the past three years, will begin a three-game series Friday night at Busch Stadium.

How close has the competition been? Since the start of the 2013 season, they've evenly split their 60 matchups -- 30 wins apiece. The Bucs have outscored the Cardinals, 248-232, over that stretch. The Cards have eight walk-off wins, and the Pirates have four.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bowman enjoys early success, increased role

Rule 5 Draft pick credits offseason work, reflection for readiness for Majors

Bowman enjoys early success, increased role

ST. LOUIS -- His appearance may have seemed a side note in a walk-off win on Wednesday night, but without Matt Bowman's stabilizing relief, the Cardinals may have had a more difficult task entering the ninth.

After another jagged start by Mike Leake, Bowman was summoned to start the sixth. He breezed through that inning so efficiently that the Cardinals also gave him the seventh. Bowman retired all three batters he faced in that frame as well to secure his seventh scoreless outing in his past nine appearances.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. 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.

Fresh perspective helping Wong's approach

Second baseman looks more comfortable at plate while focusing on positive

Fresh perspective helping Wong's approach

ST. LOUIS -- When the Cardinals signed Kolten Wong to a five-year, $25.5 million extension this spring, they hoped the financial certainty would allow the second baseman to take a more relaxed approach to the game. A month into the season, however, Wong is still finding himself fighting the tendency to stew over the missed opportunities more than he celebrates the success.

It's an issue Wong revisited lately as the lack of any extra-base hits began to wear on him. He finally tallied his first on Monday -- a solo home run in his 60th season at-bat -- and has looked more comfortable at the plate since. A clearer mind, Wong said, has helped.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. 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.

Holliday's walk-off lifts Cards over Phillies

Holliday's walk-off lifts Cards over Phillies

ST. LOUIS -- Despite Ryan Howard's best attempts to propel the Phillies to another win in his hometown, the Cardinals stunned Philadelphia with a two-run ninth to celebrate their first walk-off win of the season, a 5-4 victory in front of 40,725 at Busch Stadium on Wednesday.

The Cardinals entered the ninth behind by two, but immediately stirred against closer Jeanmar Gomez. Pinch-hitter Kolten Wong opened the inning with a seven-pitch walk and moved to third when pinch-hitter Matt Adams drove a ball off the top of the wall in center. Stephen Piscotty plated the tying run with an infield single before Matt Holliday snuck a single to left for the win. More >

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012 and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11 for MLB.com.

Joe Harris is a contributor for MLB.com based in St. Louis.

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

Timely hits, not home runs, rescue Cards

Timely hits, not home runs, rescue Cards

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals had already manufactured several come-from-behind wins this season, earning more than half of their season victories in such fashion, in fact. And so it wasn't necessarily that the Cardinals added another to the list with a 5-4 victory over the Phillies as much as it was how they did so that seemed so notable.

An offense that has been surprisingly reliant on the long ball through the season's first month got back to its old ways on Wednesday by stringing together hits and coming up with timely ones when runners were in scoring position. A three-run fifth inning changed the look of a game the Phillies had once led by four, before a pair of ninth-inning runs set off the team's first walk-off celebration of the season.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. 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.

Pham wrap: Cards' OF set for rehab stint

Pham wrap: Cards' OF set for rehab stint

ST. LOUIS -- Tommy Pham will bat leadoff and play center field for Memphis on Wednesday as he begins his Minor League rehab assignment with the Cardinals' Triple-A affiliate.

Pham, who suffered a left oblique strain on Opening Day, left for Memphis after taking two days of on-field batting practice without issue. The Cardinals have not publically indicated how long they expect the rehab assignment to last, though Pham, before he departed, estimated that he would need about 20 at-bats.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. 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 will be busy on first day of Draft

Cards will be busy on first day of Draft

ST. LOUIS -- It's nearing crunch time for the Cardinals' scouting department, which has five weeks remaining before new scouting director Randy Flores leads the club through the 2016 MLB Draft. The three-day event will begin on June 9 and feature 40 round of picks.

The Cardinals and Padres are the only clubs that will be making three first-round selections this year. St. Louis' first pick will be at No. 23. The club was also awarded the 33rd and 34th overall selections because of the departures of John Lackey and Jason Heyward over the winter. Combined, those three first-round picks account for $6.0125 million of the Cardinals' $9.1433 million bonus pool.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. 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.

Wacha solid but Cards' bats silent vs. Phils

Wacha solid but Cards' bats silent vs. Phils

ST. LOUIS -- Aaron Nola extended his scoreless innings streak to 20 and Ryan Howard backed him with his sixth home run to boost the Phillies to a 1-0 victory over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium on Tuesday.

One night after the Cardinals blasted five home runs, Nola held the club to two hits over seven innings. In doing so, he lowered his season WHIP to 0.80, the third-lowest mark among National League starters.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012 and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11 for MLB.com.
Joe Harris is a contributor for MLB.com based in St. Louis.

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

Wacha returns to old form against Phillies

Wacha returns to old form against Phillies

ST. LOUIS -- While one misplaced cutter may have soured Michael Wacha's outing, the look he provided over the other 99 pitches he delivered in the Cardinals' 1-0 loss to the Phillies offered a lot to like as the Cardinals envision his continued ascension in this rotation.

Wacha was better than he has been all season, certainly, and arguably as dominant as the Cardinals have seen him since his standout postseason of 2013. It had been even longer than that, too, since he last finished eight innings, which Wacha did while limiting the Phillies to five hits.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. 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.

Adams uses small ball to beat shift

Adams uses small ball to beat shift

ST. LOUIS -- Having opposing defenses shift him to pull the ball has become so commonplace that Matt Adams says he doesn't even notice it much anymore. That doesn't mean, however, he isn't out to exploit it.

Adams laid down the second successful bunt single of his career in Monday's 10-3 victory over the Phillies, showing off the technique he improved with increased repetition this spring. After years of listening to his manager urge him to consider foiling the shift with a bunt down the third-base line, Adams has begun to buy into the philosophy.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. 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.

Harris cleared to resume throwing program

Harris cleared to resume throwing program

ST. LOUIS -- Mitch Harris has been granted clearance to resume his throwing program after having his right elbow examined by Dr. George Paletta on Monday.

Harris opened the season on the disabled list after feeling discomfort around his elbow midway through Spring Training. The Cardinals hoped that a few weeks of rest would alleviate the issue, though once he began throwing again in April, Harris complained of trouble finishing his pitches. That prompted the Cardinals to fly Harris to St. Louis this week to receive a second opinion on his arm.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. 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.

Waino goes deep, 4 others add home runs

Waino goes deep, 4 others add home runs

ST. LOUIS -- Adam Wainwright never welcomed being the example for the universal designated hitter advocates, who quickly pointed to the Achilles injury he suffered breaking from the batters' box last April as another reason why pitchers didn't need to hit.

Despite the injury, Wainwright would retort, he had no interest in giving up his bat.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. 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.

Power surge: Cards home runs sink Phillies

Power surge: Cards home runs sink Phillies

ST. LOUIS -- A three-run homer by Adam Wainwright ignited a power surge at Busch Stadium, which didn't end until the Cardinals blasted the five home runs off Phillies pitching en route to a 10-3 victory that snapped Philadelphia's winning streak at six.

The Phillies actually led early in this one, peppering Wainwright for three runs on three third-inning hits. But Wainwright erased the deficit himself the next inning when he sent a Jeremy Hellickson fastball into Busch Stadium's Big Mac Land, giving the Cardinals' ace his second consecutive three-RBI game.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012 and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11 for MLB.com.
Joe Harris is a contributor for MLB.com based in St. Louis.

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

Cards hoping Grichuk's bat coming around

Cards hoping Grichuk's bat coming around

ST. LOUIS -- A season that began with Randal Grichuk set as the team's everyday center fielder has evolved into a series of growing pains through which the 24-year-old is continuing to navigate. He hopes a two-hit performance in Monday's 10-3 win over the Phillies can help him move beyond the latest.

Manager Mike Matheny, as he did after Grichuk opened the season 1-for-15, sat Grichuk on Monday to give him an opportunity to unplug from his current 0-for-20 skid. The respite was brief, however, as Grichuk came off the bench in the sixth, snapped his hitless streak with a single and then homered an inning later.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. 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.

Nielsen among top prospect performers Monday

Rangers' No. 21 prospect grabs Minor League homer lead, No. 14 hurls five one-hit frames

Nielsen among top prospect performers Monday

Class A Advanced High Desert has been rolling of late, winning 13 of its last 15 games to move into first place atop the California League South division with a 19-6 overall record.

Left-hander Yohander Mendez (Rangers' No. 14 prospect) and second baseman Travis Demeritte (No. 21 prospect) have been key to High Desert's early season success, and both thrived Monday as the Mavericks edged Visalia, 2-1.

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

Bader on MLB Pipeline's Prospect Team of the Week

Bader on MLB Pipeline's Prospect Team of the Week

MLBPipeline.com's Prospect Team of the Week honors the best performances from the previous seven days. Any player currently on an organization Top 30 Prospects list on our Prospect Watch is eligible, including big leaguers.

Dansby Swanson and Andrew Benintendi were viewed as two of the top college bats available in the 2015 Draft before going to the D-backs and Red Sox with the Nos. 1 and 7 overall picks, respectively. Swanson -- now with the Braves -- and Benintendi have blown past expectations so far in their first full pro seasons, and after starring at the plate last week, they both land on the latest edition of MLBPipeline.com's Prospect Team of the Week (April 25-May 1).

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

Yadier Molina did some push-ups at the plate before getting a hit

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Yadier Molina did some push-ups at the plate before getting a hit

In the Majors since 2004, Yadier Molina, who will be 34 by mid-season, has caught nearly 1,500 games. That's a lot of strain on a man's body -- catching, as you probably know, isn't the easiest position in the world. What we're saying is: He may not be the Gold Glove Award-winning spring chicken he once was. Well, he definitely still has the glove, but he's more like a late-summer chicken now.

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Cardinals can't solve Scherzer in finale loss

Cardinals can't solve Scherzer in finale loss

ST. LOUIS -- St. Louis native Max Scherzer dazzled in his homecoming to help the Nationals wrap up a sweep of the Cardinals with a 6-1 victory on Sunday. It was behind the strength of its starting staff -- which limited St. Louis to three runs in 20 innings -- that Washington became the first visiting team to complete a three-game sweep at Busch Stadium since June 2013.

"For us to be able to come in here and take three games from them, that's huge, especially on this road trip," Scherzer said. "This road trip is going to tell us where we're at. We started off well."

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. 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.

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

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

Martinez battles flu during first loss of 2016

Cardinals right-hander strikes out eight over 6 2/3 innings

Martinez battles flu during first loss of 2016

ST. LOUIS -- Before leaving the ballpark on Saturday, right-hander Carlos Martinez encouraged manager Mike Matheny to start formulating a Plan B. Stricken with the same respiratory illness that had sidelined by Kevin Siegrist and Kolten Wong on the team's road trip, Martinez was pretty certain he'd be too weak to make his scheduled start.

Despite having lost 5-to-10 pounds, he did wake up on Sunday feeling improved enough that he asked Matheny to let him try. And given the circumstances Martinez did OK until a late stumble halted his back-and-forth duel with Max Scherzer and let the game spiral into a 6-1 loss to the Nationals.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. 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' Honorary Bat Girl announced

ST. LOUIS -- Christina Sego -- a single mom, teacher and cancer survivor -- has been named the Cardinals' Honorary Bat Girl as part of a Major League Baseball initiative to recognize fans who have been affected by breast cancer and who demonstrate a commitment to supporting the fight against the disease.

Sego, one of 30 honorees, will be recognized during an on-field ceremony at Busch Stadium on Sunday. She was nominated for the contest by her son Jordan, a high schooler in Sullivan, Mo.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. 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.

Peralta fields first grounders since surgery

Shortstop recovering after injuring left thumb in Spring Training

Peralta fields first grounders since surgery

ST. LOUIS -- A Cardinals club that watched its fill-in shortstops commit nine errors in April got a glimpse on Sunday of the help that is on the way.

For the first time since undergoing left thumb surgery on March 10, Jhonny Peralta grabbed a glove and fielded ground balls at shortstop. He wore a hard plastic casing around his thumb for protection.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. 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.

Four-run first dooms Garcia, Cards vs. Nats

Four-run first dooms Garcia, Cards vs. Nats

ST. LOUIS -- For the second straight game, the Nationals parlayed a four-run inning into a road victory over the Cardinals, this time claiming a 6-1 win on Saturday at Busch Stadium behind another strong performance from starter Joe Ross and an early three-run home run by Jayson Werth. The victory gave the Nationals their first series win in St. Louis since May 2007, and they will go for their first sweep here Sunday.

"All signs are pointing in the right direction right now," Werth said. "We just need to keep it going. We have a long, tough road trip, and it's good to get it started that way we have. We'll see if we can build on it."

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. 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.

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

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

Cards rotation ends disappointing first month

St. Louis starters posts 4.76 ERA in subpar April

Cards rotation ends disappointing first month

ST. LOUIS -- It was never realistic to hold the Cardinals' rotation to last season's standard, when it became the third unit since 1988 to post a sub-3.00 ERA. But St. Louis also expected this 2016 group to be better than this year's first impression indicates.

One month into a 162-game grind, the Cardinals' rotation has been essentially average, ranking in the middle of the pack in categories such as ERA and opponents' batting average. A so-so start from Jaime Garcia on Saturday concluded the rotation's pedestrian April with a 6-1 loss to the Nationals, who, in contrast, flaunt a 2.31 rotation ERA.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. 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.