Yadi's pickoff backs Lynn as Cards beat Reds

Yadi's pickoff backs Lynn as Cards beat Reds

ST. LOUIS -- Sustaining the momentum built from a doubleheader sweep one day earlier, the Cardinals weathered Cincinnati's late-inning push to hold on for a 7-5 victory Friday that featured another collective offensive effort to support Lance Lynn's third straight quality start. A surprise pickoff throw from catcher Yadier Molina further highlighted the Cardinals' series-opening win.

After Scott Schebler's home run put the Reds ahead early, the Cardinals ambushed Tim Adleman for six runs (five earned). Dexter Fowler and Jedd Gyorko each connected for their fourth home runs of the season, with Fowler's blast giving the Cardinals a two-run lead in the third. Randal Grichuk and Kolten Wong, both of whom have been heating up over the past week, tallied run-scoring hits 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, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast.

Nate Latsch is a contributor to MLB.com, based in St. Louis.

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

Molina nabs stunned Suarez with snap toss

Molina nabs stunned Suarez with snap toss

ST. LOUIS -- He has thrown out runners from his knees, paused for pushups during an at-bat and notched countless clutch hits. But after 14 seasons and 1,600 games behind the plate, Yadier Molina executed a new first to help the Cardinals to a 7-5 win over the Reds on Friday.

He turned a walk into an out.

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

McGwire highlights Cards' 2017 HOF class

McCarver, Martin also chosen for induction, set for Aug. 26

McGwire highlights Cards' 2017 HOF class

ST. LOUIS -- One of the franchise's all-time great sluggers and two of its most accomplished World Series performers will be inducted into the Cardinals' Hall of Fame this year, the organization announced Friday.

Mark McGwire and Tim McCarver were chosen for induction by fans from a ballot of seven modern-day candidates who played at least three years for the Cardinals and have been retired for fewer than 40 years. Joining them as part of the 2017 Hall of Fame Class will be Pepper Martin, selected by a Red Ribbon Committee as the veteran inductee.

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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.

Flaherty seeking another strong start

Flaherty seeking another strong start

Here's a look at top prospects to watch in today's Minor League action:

Hitter to watch: Daniel Johnson (Nationals No. 29), Hagerstown at Lexington (6:35 p.m. ET on MiLB.TV)

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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.

Leake looking to beat former team for first time

Leake looking to beat former team for first time

Mike Leake has enjoyed some success against his former team, the Reds, but the Cardinals right-hander has yet to earn a win against them.

In fact, the Cardinals have lost all five of Leake's starts against Cincinnati.

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Nate Latsch is a contributor to MLB.com, based in St. Louis. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Twin drilling: Cardinals' offense jolted awake

Bats snap out of funk during doubleheader sweep

Twin drilling: Cardinals' offense jolted awake

ST. LOUIS -- With issues in the field, on the bases and out of the bullpen monopolizing much of the attention through the Cardinals' first 20 games, the club's meek offense had flown somewhat under the radar.

Thursday, however, was a reminder of what it can look like when all is rolling right.

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

Nailed it! Carpenter's slam could be catalyst

Nailed it! Carpenter's slam could be catalyst

ST. LOUIS -- Before Thursday's doubleheader against the Blue Jays, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny toyed with the idea of moving Matt Carpenter out of the three-hole as a means to potentially jump-start the first baseman's bat. Matheny eventually opted against the switch, yet he ended up with the desired result anyway.

Carpenter's 11th-inning grand slam off J.P. Howell not only finished off the Cardinals' 8-4 win in Game 1 of a doubleheader, but it represented the sort of timely hit that prompted the Cardinals to move Carpenter into more of a run-production spot to begin with.

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

Relive the play that Ozzie called his best ever

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Relive the play that Ozzie called his best ever

Earlier this week, we looked back on the time Giants outfielder Kevin Mitchell managed to snag an Ozzie Smith fly ball with nothing but his bare hand. Of course, Smith and his 13 career Gold Gloves were also no stranger to defensive highlights -- so, in the interest of fairness, let's all gawk at the play that Ozzie himself considered the best he ever made. (Don't worry, this one doesn't involve a glove either.)

The date was April 20, 1978. Smith was still years away from becoming The Wizard -- he was just a rookie shortstop back then, starting only his tenth career game for the Padres as they took on the Braves in San Diego. In the top of the fourth, Atlanta left fielder Jeff Burroughs smacked a hard ground ball just to the shortstop side of second base. 

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Adams leads Cards to doubleheader sweep

Adams leads Cards to doubleheader sweep

ST. LOUIS -- After stunning the Blue Jays with eight late-inning runs to steal a victory in the first game of Thursday's doubleheader, the Cardinals' offense continued rolling early in the nightcap to build a lead Toronto couldn't fully chip away. St. Louis completed the doubleheader sweep with a 6-4 win to pull back to .500 following a 3-9 season start.

The Cardinals pounced on rookie Casey Lawrence to build a six-run lead through four innings. Dexter Fowler opened the first with a single and came around to score in the team's three-run frame. He added a solo homer in his next at-bat. Matt Adams contributed a pair of run-scoring hits, and Stephen Piscotty drove in two with productive outs.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

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

Carp's walk-off slam caps Cards' wild rebound

Carp's walk-off slam caps Cards' wild rebound

ST. LOUIS -- Two innings after a Randal Grichuk home run forced extra innings, Matt Carpenter put an emphatic end to a second consecutive 11-inning affair between the Cardinals and Blue Jays. With his first career grand slam on Thursday afternoon, Carpenter helped the Cardinals complete an 8-4 come-from-behind win in which they scored all of their runs off Toronto's bullpen.

The victory, which came in the first game of a split doubleheader at Busch Stadium, was the Cardinals' first of the season in which they trailed after seven innings. In fact, St. Louis trailed until the bottom of the ninth, when, with two outs, reliever Roberto Osuna blew his second save of the series by serving up Grichuk's two-run homer.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

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

Cards careful not to tax Rosenthal out of 'pen

Cards careful not to tax Rosenthal out of 'pen

ST. LOUIS -- Lingering concern about Trevor Rosenthal's health and day-to-day availability is one reason the Cardinals will continue to employ an eight-man bullpen for the foreseeable future.

Rosenthal, who was slowed by a right lat strain early in Spring Training and again to start the regular season, has not yet pitched on back-to-back days since making his season debut on April 10. That was intentional early, as the club wanted to ensure that Rosenthal had healed. More recently, however, it's been periodic arm soreness that has left Rosenthal unavailable.

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

Poor defense continues to cost Cardinals

Team commits season-high four errors against Blue Jays

Poor defense continues to cost Cardinals

ST. LOUIS -- The look the Cardinals sought to leave behind in 2016 has instead trailed them into this season, as they continue to get hurt by poor fundamental play and a lack of execution.

The same sort of sloppy defense that hampered the club last year has shown up again, with Tuesday's 6-5, 11-inning loss to the Blue Jays serving as one of the most glaring episodes yet. The Cardinals committed a season-high four errors, including two that led to unearned runs.

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

Wacha solid, but Cards fall to Blue Jays in 11

Wacha solid, but Cards fall to Blue Jays in 11

ST. LOUIS -- A back-and-forth Interleague affair that featured aerial acrobatics and the most unexpected of contributors ended after 11 innings on Tuesday, when the Blue Jays capitalized on the Cardinals' fourth error of the night. After squandering away three leads, the Blue Jays wouldn't lose another, as Ryan Tepera stranded the potential tying run in scoring position to cap off a 6-5 win over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium.

The Cardinals' sloppy play led to unearned runs in the ninth and 11th, the latter of which scored when first baseman Jose Martinez couldn't corral a wide throw from shortstop Aledmys Diaz. A pinch-hit, one-out double by starting pitcher Marcus Stroman set up Toronto's game-winning rally, as he later scored on Diaz's errant throw on Steve Pearce's two-out ground ball.

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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.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

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

Cards rookie Martinez hits first career homer

Cards rookie Martinez hits first career homer

ST. LOUIS -- Despite not entering Tuesday's series opener until the seventh inning, Jose Martinez experienced a gamut of emotions over the final frames of the Cardinals' 6-5, 11-inning loss to the Blue Jays

Martinez hit a game-tying, two-run home run, the first of his Major League career, in the seventh. The euphoria he felt during that trip around the bases, however, was overtaken by the frustration of a ball not caught in the decisive 11th inning.

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

Inbox: Will Cards be buyers at Deadline?

Beat reporter Jenifer Langosch answers questions from St. Louis fans

Inbox: Will Cards be buyers at Deadline?

The difference a week makes, huh? The public panic from a 3-9 start has largely dissolved after a week in which the Cardinals won six of seven. Certainly there are still areas to clean up -- what's with all the baserunning blunders? -- but there is also plenty to like.

So before the Cardinals open a 10-game homestand on Tuesday, let's take another look at what topics are generating the most interest with you. Remember to include your name and hometown when making submission for future Inbox consideration.

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

Leake does it all in win for Cardinals

Leake does it all in win for Cardinals

MILWAUKEE -- Mike Leake grabbed a bat and did his best Adam Wainwright impersonation, while Jimmy Nelson remained 0-for-St. Louis.

Leake, who entered the day as the National League's ERA leader, surrendered multiple runs for the first time this season, but made up for it by hitting a go-ahead, two-run single in the fourth, capping a three-run Cardinals rally in their 6-4 win over Nelson and the Brewers at Miller Park on Sunday. The Brewers mounted a valiant effort in the bottom of the ninth but fell for the fifth time in six games, while the Cardinals have won six of their last seven.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Andrew Gruman is a contributor to MLB.com based in Milwaukee.

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

Wong's bat comes alive in Milwaukee

Second baseman went 5-for-13 with 3 RBIs and 4 runs scored in series

Wong's bat comes alive in Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE -- Kolten Wong has provided enough flashes his all-around game that the Cardinals have continued to give him chances to put it all together.

The second baseman showed what he is capable of doing over the weekend in Milwaukee, capping a four-game series by reaching base four times and driving in a run with a double in a 6-4 victory over the Brewers on Sunday.

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Andrew Gruman is a contributor to MLB.com based in Milwaukee.

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

Diaz's homer looms large as Cards edge Crew

Diaz's homer looms large as Cards edge Crew

MILWAUKEE -- A banged-up Aledmys Diaz did not start for the Cardinals on Saturday, but he made his presence felt with one big swing off the bench.

Diaz, sitting out the start after he tweaked his back and shoulder the night before, delivered a pinch-hit, tie-breaking home run in the seventh inning to back starter Lance Lynn, and the Cardinals held off a Brewers rally in the eighth on the way to a 4-1 win over Milwaukee at Miller Park.

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Andrew Gruman is a contributor to MLB.com based in Milwaukee.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast

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

Lynn finds pre-surgery form -- or better

Coming off TJ surgery, righty using secondary pitches more wisely

Lynn finds pre-surgery form -- or better

MILWAUKEE -- Entering the season, questions surrounded the Cardinals' starting rotation, a majority of which had something to prove.

Could Adam Wainwright, Mike Leake and Michael Wacha bounce back from down seasons and return to form? What could St. Louis expect from Lance Lynn coming off a missed season following Tommy John surgery?

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Andrew Gruman is a contributor to MLB.com based in Milwaukee. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wainwright does it all in win over Brewers

Wainwright does it all in win over Brewers

MILWAUKEE -- Here's one way for the Cardinals' Adam Wainwright to get back on track: start mashing.

Struggling on the mound to start this season, Wainwright took matters into his own hands at the plate on Friday by driving in four runs including a go-ahead, two-run homer in the Cardinals' 6-3 win over the Brewers at Miller Park.

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Andrew Gruman is a contributor to MLB.com based in Milwaukee.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast

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

'Lucky bat' comes through for Wainwright

'Lucky bat' comes through for Wainwright

MILWAUKEE -- Adam Wainwright's lucky bat contributed two final blows in the Cardinals' 6-3 win Friday before suffering a happy death.

Two pitches after he hit a soft grounder down the third-base line that would have been an easy out but was foul by a few inches, Wainwright turned around a 96 mph fastball from Wily Peralta for a two-run home run into the second deck in left field to give St. Louis a 2-1 lead in the third inning.

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Andrew Gruman is a contributor to MLB.com based in Milwaukee. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Waino reminds us he's a #PitcherWhoRakes

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Waino reminds us he's a #PitcherWhoRakes

With a runner on third and one out in the top of the third of Friday's Brewers-Cardinals game, Adam Wainwright stepped to the plate. Surely thinking, "He's the pitcher -- how hard could he possibly hit the ball?" Craig Counsell instructed his infielders to move in. 

What the skipper should have done was move the outfielders back -- so far back that they were in the stands. Because that's where Wainwright deposited Wily Peralta's sixth pitch of the at-bat. 

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Villar's movement in Piscotty AB causes delay

Villar's movement in Piscotty AB causes delay

MILWAUKEE -- Defensive shifts have had a great impact on Major League Baseball in recent years, at times providing unique situations with fielders moved all over the diamond.

Such an instance took place Thursday at Miller Park. The Brewers employed a shift with right-handed-hitting Stephen Piscotty at the plate with a runner on third and two outs in the top of the first inning.

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Andrew Gruman is a contributor to MLB.com based in Milwaukee. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Carpenter, Gyorko homer in loss to Brewers

Carpenter, Gyorko homer in loss to Brewers

MILWAUKEE -- Move over, Harvey's Wallbangers. Milwaukee has a new slugging crew.

The Brewers padded their Major League-leading home run tally by launching three more on Thursday, when Travis Shaw, Eric Thames and Jett Bandy each went deep with runners on base to account for all of Milwaukee's runs in a 7-5 win over the Cardinals at Miller Park.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Andrew Gruman is a contributor to MLB.com based in Milwaukee and covered the Cardinals on Thursday.

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

Martinez struggling with fastball command

Cardinals right-hander has walked 11 over last three starts

Martinez struggling with fastball command

MILWAUKEE -- Pitchers fight inconsistency all the time, but Carlos Martinez has taken it to an extreme over his last two outings.

Similar to his last start, in which he walked eight and struck out 11 in a loss to the Yankees, Martinez struggled with command but also had stretches where everything clicked during the Cardinals' 7-5 loss to the Brewers on Thursday.

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Andrew Gruman is a contributor to MLB.com based in Milwaukee. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Peralta placed on DL with respiratory issue

Lyons activated to 25-man roster in place of Cards' third baseman

Peralta placed on DL with respiratory issue

MILWAUKEE -- Jhonny Peralta is going to be afforded the time necessary to recover from an upper respiratory illness that has ailed him since Spring Training.

The Cardinals placed the veteran third baseman on the 10-day disabled list on Thursday, activating left-hander Tyler Lyons in a corresponding move.

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Andrew Gruman is a contributor to MLB.com based in Milwaukee. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cards sweep Pirates behind Fowler's 2 HRs

Cards sweep Pirates behind Fowler's 2 HRs

ST. LOUIS -- The sting of a slow start felt a little less severe on Wednesday, as the Cardinals wrapped up a series sweep of the Pirates with a boost from Dexter Fowler's bat and another strong starting pitching performance. All three games in this series ended with a 2-1 score.

Fowler provided all the necessary offense with his first multi-homer game since 2013. His solo shots off Pirates' starter Gerrit Cole in the third and fifth innings were his first home runs with the club. The second was recognized with a curtain call, Fowler's first at Busch Stadium.

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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.

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast.

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

Starters keeping Cardinals in games

After sweep, Matheny lauds rotation's consistency

Starters keeping Cardinals in games

ST. LOUIS -- The eighth question lobbed at manager Mike Matheny following the Cardinals' third successive 2-1 win over the Pirates was related to the contributions of the rotation, to which Matheny quipped: "That's probably where we should start this thing every day."

Indeed, the rotation was the foundation on which all of these one-run wins was built, as it took three stingy starts to help the Cardinals rebound from a rough road trip with a sweep of a division rival. The Cardinals' starters in this series -- Lance Lynn, Mike Leake and Michael Wacha -- each pitched into the seventh and combined to allow two runs over 20 innings.

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