Waino sparks offense, holds off Nats' surge

Waino sparks offense, holds off Nats' surge

WASHINGTON -- Adam Wainwright helped himself with the bat and withstood a Nationals home run charge as the Cardinals won, 9-4, Saturday night at Nationals Park.

Wainwright pitched a solid seven innings, allowing four runs on six hits as St. Louis won the seventh consecutive game started by the right-hander.

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Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for MLB.com since 2002 and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats.

Alex Putterman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington and covered the Cardinals on Saturday.

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

Garcia earns longer stay with red-hot bat

Recently recalled infielder lifts batting average to .647

Garcia earns longer stay with red-hot bat

WASHINGTON -- Greg Garcia was supposed to be in Las Vegas on Saturday night, playing for the Memphis Redbirds of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. That was the plan, at least, before Garcia's hot bat turned him into a Nationals nightmare and Cardinals hero.

Garcia notched three hits Saturday -- an RBI single, a well-struck double and a bunt single -- to help the Cardinals to a 9-4 victory over the Nationals. The infielder, who was called up Thursday when Matt Carpenter was placed on paternity leave, is now 5-for-7 with three walks in this series and 11-for-17 on the season.

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Alex Putterman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cardinals DFA Tejada with Carpenter back

Move also clears roster space for infielder Garcia

Cardinals DFA Tejada with Carpenter back

WASHINGTON -- The Cardinals designated Ruben Tejada for assignment on Saturday to clear room for Matt Carpenter's return from paternity leave.

Tejada is 6-for-34 (.176) with two doubles on the season, his first in St. Louis. The infielder signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Cardinals in March after being released by the Mets.

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Alex Putterman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cards turn to Wacha for finale with Nats, Harper

Cards turn to Wacha for finale with Nats, Harper

Three games into a four-game visit to Washington, and Cardinals pitchers have shown no fear of Nationals slugger Bryce Harper: The man who leads the Majors in walks (48) and intentional walks (13) but has yet to draw a free pass this series.

After Mike Leake, Jaime Garcia and Adam Wainwright found mixed results attacking Harper in the series' first three games, Michael Wacha will take the mound against the Nationals on Sunday. Wacha has faced Harper nine times, allowing only two singles and no walks.

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Alex Putterman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Piscotty stays sizzling with first career slam

Right fielder launches bases-loaded jack of Nats ace Scherzer

Piscotty stays sizzling with first career slam

WASHINGTON -- All the offense the Cardinals needed in Friday night's 6-2 win over the Nationals came via one swing, a grand slam from Stephen Piscotty.

The long-ball, which gave St. Louis a 5-0 lead in the third inning, came on an 0-1 hanging slider from Nationals starter Max Scherzer.

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Alex Putterman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Reyes, Flaherty among top prospect performers Friday

Pair of Cardinals pitching prospects excel on mound

Reyes, Flaherty among top prospect performers Friday

The future of the St. Louis Cardinals' starting rotation shined on Friday night as Nos. 1 and 2 prospects Alex Reyes and Jack Flaherty had strong outings for Triple-A Memphis and Class A Advanced Palm Beach, respectively.

Making his second Triple-A start since returning from a 50-game suspension, Reyes, MLBPipeline.com's No. 11 overall prospect, allowed one run on three hits in five innings for the Redbirds, who ultimately fell to Las Vegas, 4-1. The 21-year-old righty struck out seven hitters, walked two and hit another in the outing while throwing 58 of his 89 pitches for strikes. Of those strikes, 24 were of the swing-and-miss variety.

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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.

Cards ride grand slam over Scherzer, Nats

Cards ride grand slam over Scherzer, Nats

WASHINGTON -- Max Scherzer's one bad inning proved costly on Friday night as Stephen Piscotty hit a grand slam and the Cardinals defeated the Nationals, 6-2, at Nationals Park. The Nationals are now in a first-place tie with the Mets.

Despite a pair of walks, Scherzer was able to get out of the first two innings unscathed, but the next inning proved to be a disaster, as the Cardinals scored five runs. With one out, Scherzer's counterpart, Jaime Garcia, singled to right field. After Greg Garcia walked and Aledmys Diaz singled, the bases were loaded when Matt Holliday walked to score Garcia.

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Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for MLB.com since 2002 and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats.

Alex Putterman is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Cardinals on Friday.

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

Adams sits Friday, but stiff back is improving

Adams sits Friday, but stiff back is improving

WASHINGTON -- First baseman Matt Adams said he felt good Friday, a day after leaving the Cardinals' 2-1 loss to the Nationals in the series opener at Nationals Park with mid-back stiffness. Adams was not in the Cards' starting lineup, but he expected to be available to pinch-hit.

"I woke up and the stiffness felt a lot better," Adams said. "I came in, tested it a little bit, did a full-body workout and went in the cage a little bit."

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Alex Putterman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

No take backs? 2 pitches hurt reliable Leake

Pair of late homers cost Cards righty, who has allowed only 4 runs in his last 4 starts

No take backs? 2 pitches hurt reliable Leake

WASHINGTON -- Mike Leake threw two pitches he'd like back Thursday. One of them, in the sixth inning, Bryce Harper launched to the third deck in right field. The other, an inning later, Danny Espinosa deposited into the home bullpen.

"A hanging changeup and a hanging slider right where hitters want the ball," Leake said after the Cardinals' 2-1 loss to the Nationals. "If you take those back, it still looks like a zero-run ballgame."

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Alex Putterman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Late homers deal Cards, Leake tough loss

Late homers deal Cards, Leake tough loss

WASHINGTON -- Danny Espinosa's solo home run, which followed Bryce Harper's monster tying blast an inning earlier, lifted the Nationals over the Cardinals, 2-1, at Nationals Park in Thursday night's four-game series opener.

Cardinals starter Mike Leake cruised through five scoreless innings before allowing Harper's solo shot in the sixth and Espinosa's decisive blast in the seventh.

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Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for MLB.com since 2002 and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats.

Alex Putterman is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Cardinals on Thursday.

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

Cardinals' pair among top prospect performers Thursday

Cardinals' pair among top prospect performers Thursday

A pair of Phillies' top prospects had three-hit games in Lehigh Valley's win over Pawtucket. J.P. Crawford, the No. 3 overall prospect (Phillies' No. 1), scored a pair of runs in the game, but more importantly, he found his stroke offensively. Since he was promoted to Triple-A, Crawford got off to a bit of a slow start. The shortstop went 3-for-15 over his first four games, but on Thursday night everything was clicking as Crawford went 3-for-5.

But Crawford wasn't the only Phillies' farmhand to have a good night at the plate. Nick Williams, Philadelphia's No. 3 prospect, was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate and raised his average to .279.

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

Cards recall Garcia with Carpenter on paternity list

Cards recall Garcia with Carpenter on paternity list

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals were without third baseman Matt Carpenter for Wednesday's 9-8 loss to the Cubs and are expected to be without him through Friday's game at Washington because of the birth of his first child.

Infielder Greg Garcia was recalled from Triple-A Memphis to fill Carpenter's roster spot.

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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.

Alex Putterman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington.

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

Cardinals continue to be thorn in Arrieta's side

Cardinals continue to be thorn in Arrieta's side

ST. LOUIS -- Jake Arrieta seems nearly untouchable most of the time. He had allowed nine earned runs all season and came into Wednesday's game with eight wins and a 1.29 ERA. He left Busch Stadium with nine victories after the Cardinals fell short in a 9-8 loss to the Cubs, but Arrieta's numbers continue to take a turn for the worse when he sees the birds on the bat.

His line Wednesday read four runs on seven hits in five innings with four strikeouts. It was the most runs Arrieta had given up in a regular-season game since last June 16 and his fewest strikeouts since July 17. Including the postseason, the Cardinals are the only team in the Major Leagues which has tagged Arrieta for four runs three times over the past two seasons.

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Nick Krueger is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Louis. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cards' comeback comes up just short in finale

Cards' comeback comes up just short in finale

ST. LOUIS -- The intrigue wasn't over, as many may have expected, when the Cubs handed their starter, Jake Arrieta, a five-run second-inning lead. But despite their ambitious comeback against a pitcher who hasn't lost in 10 months, the Cardinals fell short of flipping the results on Wednesday afternoon. Instead, Chicago escaped Busch Stadium with a 9-8 victory and second series win over its rivals this season.

The Cubs also extended their regular-season winning streak behind Arrieta to 23 games, tying a Major League record set by the Braves behind Kris Medlen.

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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, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

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

Starting-pitching woes proving costly to Cards

Starting-pitching woes proving costly to Cards

ST. LOUIS -- In the minutes following Wednesday's 9-8 defeat to the Cubs at Busch Stadium, the Cardinals' clubhouse was brewing with a mélange of frustration and satisfaction. It was a group irked that it had fallen just short, yet still proud of the spirited comeback that positioned it one ninth-inning hit away from stealing a win.

But while the offense's feisty performance may have provided a silver lining, the reality is that another short and ineffective starting-pitching performance left the club in a spot where it had to chip away.

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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, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Peralta making progress on rehab assignment

Catcher Pena moving toward start of rehab stint

Peralta making progress on rehab assignment

ST. LOUIS -- Jhonny Peralta's tenure with the Class A Peoria Chiefs will end on Wednesday, but his rehab assignment is poised to continue.

General manager John Mozeliak confirmed that Peralta will be transferred to the organization's Double-A affiliate in Springfield (Mo.), where he will debut on Friday. By then, Peralta will have played in five games with Peoria. Through Tuesday's game, he was 3-for-10 with a double while splitting time between shortstop and third base.

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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 get OF Martinez from KC for cash considerations

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals added to their outfield depth on Wednesday by acquiring Jose Martinez from the Royals for cash considerations. Martinez, 27, has been assigned him to the Cardinals' Triple-A Memphis roster.

In order to create space on the 40-man roster for Martinez, the Cardinals transferred reliever Mitch Harris to the 60-day disabled list. Harris has been sidelined since Spring Training due to a right elbow strain.

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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, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cards' bats can't overcome Wacha's woes

Cards' bats can't overcome Wacha's woes

ST. LOUIS -- Any chance the Cardinals had of rolling over momentum from their series-opening walk-off win evaporated before they could send their first batter to the plate on Tuesday, as the Cubs opened the night with a six-run first and then cruised to a 12-3 victory that evened the three-game set at Busch Stadium.

The Cubs sent 10 batters to the plate in the opening frame against Cardinals starter Michael Wacha, who walked home a run and allowed five hits in the 36-pitch inning. He was so shaky that manager Mike Matheny had Tyler Lyons begin warming up before Wacha had recorded his second out. Two-run doubles by David Ross and Jason Hammel -- the first of which center fielder Randal Grichuk nearly caught to keep the deficit at two -- punctuated the first six-run first inning the Cubs posted against the Cardinals since 1994.

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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, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

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

Wacha describes arm as 'dragging' after loss

Wacha describes arm as 'dragging' after loss

ST. LOUIS -- Memories of Michael Wacha's solid start to the season have faded, replaced by questions about whether an already struggling rotation can afford to keep sending the searching right-hander to the mound every five days.

Wacha remains winless since April 23, and his latest loss, a 12-3 shelling by the Cubs on Tuesday, was the most numbing yet. Wacha was battered for a career-worst eight runs, six of which scored before he retired his third out. By then the Cardinals' bullpen was already stirring with activity, as Tyler Lyons hastily warmed up.

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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, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Diaz delivers highlight-reel-worthy catch

Diaz delivers highlight-reel-worthy catch

ST. LOUIS -- The troubles of Cardinals rookie shortstop Aledmys Diaz in the field this season are well documented. He is tied with the Reds' Eugenio Suarez for the Major League lead in errors, with 10.

But Diaz, at least for a few minutes, washed away the memory of his previous mistakes with an incredible catch in the Cardinals' 12-3 loss to the Cubs on Tuesday.

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Nick Krueger is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Louis. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Woodford among top prospect performers Tuesday

Woodford among top prospect performers Tuesday

Rhys Hoskins has hit his share of home runs this season, but none have been bigger than the walk-off grand slam he hit Tuesday to lead Double-A Reading past Erie, 11-9.

The Fightin' Phils (30-15) loaded the bases in the ninth inning on a pair of walks and a single to set the stage for Hoskins, who blasted right-hander Paul Voelker's 1-0 offering over the wall in left-center field to win the game. The home run was the Phillies' No. 19 prospect's eighth in 42 games this season. He's hitting .263 with 30 runs scored and 30 RBIs on the season.

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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.

After a few steps back, Wong moving forward

After a few steps back, Wong moving forward

ST. LOUIS -- With Jhonny Peralta's return looming, the Cardinals are already working through various solutions to make what will soon be an overcrowded infield more manageable. A recent surge by second baseman Kolten Wong may only complicate things further.

After trudging through the season's first month trying to enact changes to the setup of his swing, Wong has found positive traction recently. He entered Tuesday enjoying a 10-game stretch in which he's hit .355/.444/.516 with a .961 OPS. The results have been standout, sure, but so has the approach, with Wong extending at-bats with more regularity and showing improved plate discipline.

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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, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Grichuk's 1st walk-off HR closes Central gap

Grichuk's 1st walk-off HR closes Central gap

ST. LOUIS -- With a walk-off home run by Randal Grichuk, the Cardinals completed a 4-3, come-from-behind win on Monday to carve into the Cubs' lead in the National League Central. The victory, which came in front of a sellout crowd at Busch Stadium, pulled the Cardinals to within six games of the Cubs, the closest they've been since the second day of May.

Grichuk's first career walk-off home run came off reliever Adam Warren, who had retired the first five batters he faced to pull the Cubs to within one strike of extra innings. It also came a half-inning after Chicago advanced the potential go-ahead run to third with one out, but the runner was erased on a double play that helped Trevor Rosenthal out of a jam.

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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, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

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

Eventful 9th swings game Cardinals' way

Carpenter's outstanding defense sets stage for Grichuk's walk-off HR

Eventful 9th swings game Cardinals' way

ST. LOUIS -- Randal Grichuk spent several minutes before Monday's series opener against the Cubs trying to convince a horde of media members that the tightness in his back that forced him out of a game late last week had been appropriately addressed. Whomever his words might not have convinced would see for themselves a few hours later that all is, indeed, just fine.

With the first walk-off blast of his life, Grichuk left the Cardinals celebrating a 4-3 victory to open a key May series at Busch Stadium. Grichuk's game-winning moment was set up by Matt Adams' game-tying pinch-hit homer two innings earlier but also capped a swing of momentum that began in the top half of the ninth.

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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, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yadi took a tumble corralling a pitch but recovered like a champ

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Yadi took a tumble corralling a pitch but recovered like a champ

You don't get a reputation as one of the finest backstops in the game without a bit of flair behind the dish, and Yadier Molina has it in spades.

It was on full display in the eighth inning of the Cardinals' series opener with the Cubs on Monday after a Kevin Siegrist pitch bounced in front of the plate.

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Alcantara among top prospect performers Monday

Rangers' No. 4 prospect makes strong Double-A debut, Marlins' No. 2 has first pro multi-homer game

Alcantara among top prospect performers Monday

Luis Ortiz, baseball's No. 69 overall prospect, made a seamless transition to Double-A as he enjoyed a stellar debut for Double-A Frisco. The Rangers' No. 4 prospect limited San Antonio to just one run in six innings, striking out six batters against one walk in the RoughRiders' lopsided 11-1 win.

Monday's outing marked the third time in his last four starts that Ortiz matched his career high mark with six innings while allowing one or no earned runs. The right-hander is 4-2 with a 2.41 ERA through eight games (seven starts) with Frisco and Class A Advanced High Desert this year.

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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.