Rosenthal's lapse costs Cards chance at win

Club looks to focus on fundamentals with 10-game stretch vs. postseason hopefuls ahead

Rosenthal's lapse costs Cards chance at win

NEW YORK -- A staple of pitchers' fielding practice during the early weeks of Spring Training now haunts the Cardinals in July after an opportunity to push their series finale against the Mets into extra innings Thursday was abruptly thwarted by yet another lapse in fundamentals.

A day after miscommunication between the club's middle infielders caused things to unravel early, Trevor Rosenthal's inability to cover first base cost the Cards a chance at taking three of four at Citi Field. Instead, they head to Chicago on the heels of their third walk-off loss -- this one a 3-2 defeat -- in seven days.

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

Pham's hot bat not enough; Cards falter in 9th

Pham's hot bat not enough; Cards falter in 9th

NEW YORK -- As he waited for Trevor Rosenthal to toe the pitching rubber in the ninth inning Thursday at Citi Field, Jose Reyes darted his eyes toward the right side of the infield. He noticed first baseman Matt Carpenter, on Cardinals manager Mike Matheny's orders, backing toward the lip of the right-field grass. Reyes told himself if he hit a ball there, he was going to duck his head and sprint.

When he did, Reyes saw out of the corner of his eye that Rosenthal was hesitating atop the mound, slow to cover first. Reyes ran even faster -- "There's still something there for 34 years old," he grinned afterward -- to beat Rosenthal to the bag, earning a walk-off single in the Mets' 3-2 win over the Cardinals.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook.

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

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

Leake, Cards not overly alarmed by weakness

St. Louis sticking with rotation plans, with righty's next start slated for Monday

Leake, Cards not overly alarmed by weakness

NEW YORK -- Though Mike Leake acknowledged having trouble maintaining optimal body strength from one start to the next, the Cardinals do not appear concerned enough about the issue to consider an imminent change to their rotation plans.

After lasting a season-short two innings in Wednesday's 7-3 loss to the Mets, Leake said that he is still trying to regain the strength and weight lost last season when he was stricken with shingles. It didn't fully come back over the winter, and the fatigue of the season seems to be further complicating things.

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

Martinez takes on rival Cubs in opener

Martinez takes on rival Cubs in opener

The Cubs and Cardinals renew their rivalry in a three-game set beginning on Friday at Wrigley Field as both teams battle for position in the National League Central race. Chicago has won six of the first nine meetings between the teams, and it is riding a six-game winning streak following the All-Star break.

The Cubs could also be without Kris Bryant, as he suffered a left pinkie sprain against the Braves on Wednesday. He is considered day-to-day, and X-rays showed no fracture in his finger.

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

Bader fills out box score for Memphis

Bader fills out box score for Memphis

No organization currently features more high-end talent in its farm system than the White Sox. That was evident on Thursday, as a host of the South Siders' top prospects turned in big performances across three different levels.

Most notably, No. 8 overall prospect Eloy Jimenez (White Sox No. 2) went 3-for-5 with a solo home run and a pair of doubles for Class A Advanced Winston-Salem. It was the 20-year-old outfielder's ninth home run this season and his first as a member of the White Sox after he was acquired from the Cubs last week in the Jose Quintana trade. No. 68 overall prospect Zack Collins (White Sox No. 7) also went deep for Winston-Salem, giving him 13 homers through 82 games in his first full 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.

Cards rally vs. Mets is too little, too late

Cards rally vs. Mets is too little, too late

NEW YORK -- Offensively dormant for most of the second half, Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes woke up on Wednesday -- and displayed every side of who he is -- in a 7-3 win over the Cardinals.

Featuring freshly dyed blue hair, Cespedes drove home runs in each of his first two at-bats, helping the Mets jump all over Cardinals starter Mike Leake for seven runs in two innings. But fans at Citi Field held their collective breath when trainer Ray Ramirez trotted out to check on Cespedes following his second-inning double, fearing another leg injury for the slugger.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

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.

Defensive lapses, weakness hurt Leake vs. NY

Defensive lapses, weakness hurt Leake vs. NY

NEW YORK -- Any chance the Cardinals had to pull back to .500 on Wednesday faded quickly when Mike Leake, left vulnerable by plays not made behind him, could not contain a Mets club that had been hitless with runners in scoring position in the first two games of this series.

By the end of the first inning, the Mets had as many runs (three) off Leake as they had hits against Michael Wacha one night earlier. Things further unraveled in the second, setting the Mets up for a 7-3 victory over the Cardinals, who are left to continue chasing the .500 mark they haven't seen since June 2.

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

Diaz working hard to prove himself to Cards

Diaz working hard to prove himself to Cards

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- While shortstop Paul DeJong continues his run of success with the Cardinals, Aledmys Diaz remains down in Triple-A Memphis, where he's working to prove that he's ready to return to St. Louis and compete with DeJong for starting opportunities.

Diaz was caught off guard by the Cardinals' decision to send him to the Minors on June 28. At the time he was slashing .260/.293/.396, struggling with pitch selection and dealing with nagging injuries to his thumb and ankle. He was also leading the Cardinals in hits, with 71.

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Alaina Getzenberg is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kelly hits 10th homer for Memphis

Kelly hits 10th homer for Memphis

Astros prospects Daz Cameron and Ronnie Dawson put up monster numbers to help lead Class A Quad Cities to a 20-3 win over Lansing on Wednesday night.

The duo combined to go 6-for-9 with two triples, three home runs, four runs scored and eight RBIs on a night where everything went right for the River Bandits' offense.

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

Wacha's 1st career CG a 3-hit shutout of Mets

Wacha's 1st career CG a 3-hit shutout of Mets

NEW YORK -- Still trailing multiple teams in both the National League Central and NL Wild Card races, the Cardinals must play exemplary baseball throughout the season's second half to claw back into the postseason picture. Michael Wacha did more than his share Tuesday night, and the Mets gave him plenty of help, committing three errors in a 5-0 St. Louis win at Citi Field.

A half-dozen defensive misplays, including both of T.J. Rivera's errors, allowed the Cardinals to storm out to a four-run lead in the game's first two innings. Behind Wacha's first career complete game, St. Louis never looked back, cruising to its fourth straight win over New York. In total, the Mets finished with as many errors -- three -- as they had hits against Wacha.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook.

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

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

Shutout another reminder of Wacha's potential

First career CG part of righty's resurgence; Matheny reflects on 2013 breakout

Shutout another reminder of Wacha's potential

NEW YORK -- The Cardinals have never forgotten what they saw of Michael Wacha when he burst onto the Major League scene in 2013. It's why they've stuck by him through recurring shoulder issues and provided a longer leash than others might have when things started to veer off track earlier this season.

And from that potential has bubbled payoff, none more evident than on Tuesday when Wacha finished off his first career complete game and shutout by striking out Jay Bruce on a 97-mph fastball. The 119th pitch of Wacha's night sealed the Cardinals' 5-0 win over the Mets and reaffirmed why the organization has refused to let any of the setbacks nudge Wacha aside.

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

Adjustment helps Siegrist's pitching, health

Adjustment helps Siegrist's pitching, health

NEW YORK -- As Kevin Siegrist showcased in his return to the mound on Monday, the Cardinals reliever utilized his time on the disabled list not only to eradicate the neck pain that had been plaguing him for much of the season, but also to correct his eroding mechanics.

It was during a bullpen session last week that Siegrist realized he was closing off his body and inadvertently dropping his arm while going through his delivery. His suspicions were later confirmed went he went inside to review video.

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

Gyorko Cards' Heart and Hustle Award winner

Gyorko Cards' Heart and Hustle Award winner

The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association revealed the 30 preliminary winners of the 2017 Heart and Hustle Award on Tuesday. The honor is the only one voted on by former players, and is bestowed each year upon the active player who most represents a passion for the game of baseball, and best embodies the values, spirit and tradition of the game.

Past winners of the Heart and Hustle Award include David Eckstein (2005), Hall of Famer Craig Biggio (2006, 2007), Grady Sizemore (2008), Albert Pujols (2009), Roy Halladay (2010), Torii Hunter (2011), Mike Trout (2012), Dustin Pedroia (2013), Josh Harrison (2014), Anthony Rizzo (2015) and Todd Frazier (2016).

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Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

DeJong hasn't Met a NY pitch he can't slug

Shortstop becomes first Cardinal to HR in 4 straight games vs. Amazins

DeJong hasn't Met a NY pitch he can't slug

NEW YORK -- Paul DeJong's run of franchise firsts continued on Monday with a homer that also helped lift the Cardinals to a 6-3 victory over the Mets.

New York has gotten its fill of the rookie DeJong, who powered his way into the All-Star break at the expense of the Mets less than two weeks ago. DeJong homered in all three of those games, and he extended that streak with a two-run blast that sparked Monday's decisive six-run sixth.

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

All systems go for Duke's early return from TJ

Back-to-back scoreless outings latest step; lefty could rejoin Cards in August

All systems go for Duke's early return from TJ

NEW YORK -- After learning that he'd require Tommy John surgery last October, left-hander Zach Duke told his manager that he'd "be here for September."

Turns out that Duke is on track to do even better than that.

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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, and Facebook.

Alaina Getzenberg, a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Louis, contributed to this report.

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

6 in the Citi: Big inning powers Cards in NY

6 in the Citi: Big inning powers Cards in NY

NEW YORK -- The Cardinals may be struggling to claw their way back into the National League playoff picture, but it hasn't prevented them from keeping the Mets out of it. St. Louis broke out for six runs in the sixth inning Monday, scoring a 6-3 win at Citi Field to further dim New York's postseason hopes.

Tommy Pham broke the game open with a three-run homer off Hansel Robles, Paul DeJong homered for a franchise-record fourth consecutive game against the Mets, and starting pitcher Adam Wainwright added a run-scoring double to tally double-digit RBIs for the second straight year. He is the only active Major League pitcher with multiple 10-plus RBI seasons.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook.

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

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

Sierra making most of opportunity with Cards

Rookie hits in 9th straight game to start career, a Cardinals record

Sierra making most of opportunity with Cards

PITTSBURGH -- Magneuris Sierra spent his entire Saturday traveling. He was in Arkansas when the Cardinals recalled him from Double-A Springfield after placing Stephen Piscotty on the 10-day disabled list. So he flew to Dallas and then to Pittsburgh, not arriving until 9 ET that night.

By now, Sierra is used to traveling. This is the third time that Sierra has shuttled between the Majors and Minors, but he's made the most of every opportunity with the Cardinals. He capitalized again on Sunday, going 4-for-4 with a run in the Cardinals' 4-3 walk-off loss to the Pirates at PNC Park, setting a Cardinals record by hitting in each of his first nine Major League games.

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Jonathan Toye is a reporter for MLB.com based in Pittsburgh who covered the Cardinals on Sunday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yadi goes yard, but Cards fall in finale

Yadi goes yard, but Cards fall in finale

PITTSBURGH -- For the second time in three days, the Pirates staged a dramatic ninth-inning rally to surge past the Cardinals and keep their hopes of contending alive. Josh Bell began the key National League Central series with a walk-off homer Friday night, and Adam Frazier ended it Sunday afternoon by slapping a walk-off single to cap another comeback and lead the Bucs to a 4-3 win and a series victory over the Cards at PNC Park.

"I'm proud of the men. I'm proud of the fight," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "Good first series here to start the second half."
 

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

Jonathan Toye is a reporter for MLB.com based in Pittsburgh who covered the Cardinals on Sunday.

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

Perez collects three hits with GCL Cardinals

Perez collects three hits with GCL Cardinals

Reynaldo Lopez piled up the strikeouts as Triple-A Charlotte topped Gwinnett, 5-4, in walk-off fashion on Sunday.

Lopez, the No. 36 overall prospect, fired 66 of his 99 pitches for strikes as he generated a season-high 12 strikeouts and yielded just two hits in seven innings of one-run ball. The White Sox No. 6 prospect was stuck with a no-decision as the Knights bullpen blew a ninth-inning lead, but that doesn't diminish Lopez's brilliant performance.

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

Led by Lynn, Cardinals blank Bucs

Led by Lynn, Cardinals blank Bucs

PITTSBURGH -- Right-handed on the mound and left-handed at the plate, Lance Lynn led the Cardinals to a 4-0 win over the Pirates on Saturday night at PNC Park. Lynn fired 6 1/3 scoreless innings for the Cards and laced a double to left-center that began their three-run, two-out rally in the fifth inning.

"I thought [Lynn] was great," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "He was using a great mix of the sinker and the four-seamer."

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

Jonathan Toye is a reporter for MLB.com based in Pittsburgh who covered the Cardinals on Saturday.

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

Phamtastic: Cards OF red-hot at plate

3-for-4 showing leads St. Louis' offense in win vs. Pirates

Phamtastic: Cards OF red-hot at plate

PITTSBURGH -- There's a new fashion trend going around the Cardinals' clubhouse.

Outfielder Tommy Pham introduced his "Tommy Phamtastic" T-shirts about a year ago, but they have recently witnessed a boost in popularity, with several of his teammates wearing the shirt before Saturday's 4-0 win against the Pirates at PNC Park.

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Jonathan Toye is a reporter for MLB.com based in Pittsburgh who covered the Cardinals on Saturday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bowman does his best 'pen T-Rex impression

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Bowman does his best 'pen T-Rex impression

At this point, you're probably familiar with everyone's favorite inflatable T-Rex costume. In just the past year or so, it's popped up in the stands in Oakland, on the field in Houston, even terrifying unsuspecting children at Chase Field.

On Friday night, it made an appearance in Pittsburgh for the Pirates' game against the Cardinals, taking a quick lap around the outfield prior to first pitch -- and St. Louis reliever Matt Bowman was so moved that he decided to do his best dinosaur impression.

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Cardinals place Piscotty on 10-day DL

Outfielder's groin strain considered minor; rookie Sierra recalled from Springfield

Cardinals place Piscotty on 10-day DL

PITTSBURGH -- Stephen Piscotty's cleat got caught in the PNC Park turf while he was tracking Josh Harrison's fly ball in the ninth inning of Friday night's 5-2 loss to the Pirates, and that's when he felt the grab in his right leg and groin area. The Cards outfielder left with a right groin strain, and he visited with trainers on Saturday morning. He learned that the injury was minor, but it's still going to take some time to heal.

The Cardinals placed Piscotty on the 10-day disabled list on Saturday, and they recalled Magneuris Sierra from Double-A Springfield as a corresponding move. However, general manager Mike Girsch confirmed that Sierra would not arrive in Pittsburgh in time for St. Louis' game against the Pirates on Saturday.

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Jonathan Toye is a reporter for MLB.com based in Pittsburgh who covered the Cardinals on Saturday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kelly goes deep in big game for Memphis

Kelly goes deep in big game for Memphis

Rafael Devers put his entire skillset on display while leading Pawtucket to a 7-4 win over Syracuse in his Triple-A debut on Saturday.

Devers, the No. 12 overall prospect (Red Sox's No. 1), was a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate and also showed off his defensive ability with an impressive bare-handed play at third base.

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

Molina doesn't break sweat picking off Polanco

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Molina doesn't break sweat picking off Polanco

It seemed like it was going to be just your average, run-of-the-mill play. In the fourth inning of the Pirates' 5-2 win over the Cardinals, Gregory Polanco was on third base as Jordy Mercer drew a walk against Mike Leake.

Then, as Mercer removed his shin guard in the batter's box, catcher Yadier Molina caught everyone by surprise by throwing to third.

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Gyorko's homer not enough in loss to Bucs

Gyorko's homer not enough in loss to Bucs

PITTSBURGH -- After winning five of their last six games before the All-Star break, the Pirates started the second half looking to prove themselves as a National League Central contender before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. They got off to a good start Friday night, as Josh Bell launched his first career walk-off homer to beat the Cardinals, 5-2, in the second-half opener at PNC Park.

"It's awesome," Bell said. "Especially the ups and downs of that game, it was a bit of a roller coaster ride. Setting that standard."

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

Jonathan Toye is a reporter for MLB.com based in Pittsburgh who covered the Cardinals on Friday.

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

Cards put Grichuk on DL, recall J. Martinez

Cards put Grichuk on DL, recall J. Martinez

PITTSBURGH -- The Cardinals recalled Jose Martinez from Triple-A Memphis before Friday's 5-2 loss to the Pirates and placed outfielder Randal Grichuk on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to Monday, with a lower back strain.

Martinez is hitting .280 with five home runs and 17 RBIs in 51 games for the Cardinals this season. He entered Friday's game in the ninth as a defensive replacement for right fielder Stephen Piscotty, who exited with a right groin strain.

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Jonathan Toye is a reporter for MLB.com based in Pittsburgh who covered the Cardinals on Friday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cardinals hope Wong brings spark to lineup

2nd baseman, reliever Siegrist activated from DL Thursday

Cardinals hope Wong brings spark to lineup

PITTSBURGH -- Mike Matheny knows the type of impact Kolten Wong can have on the lineup, and the manager hopes Wong continues to help the Cardinals now that he's back in the lineup in time for the second half.

Wong started at second base against the Pirates on Friday at PNC Park after the Cards activated him from the 10-day disabled list on Thursday, and he went 0-for-3 in the Cardinals' 5-2 loss. St. Louis optioned Alex Mejia to Triple-A Memphis in a corresponding move. It was the first time Wong, who had been out with a triceps strain, played in a game since June 14.

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Jonathan Toye is a reporter for MLB.com based in Pittsburgh who covered the Cardinals on Friday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cards looking to invest, not sell at Deadline

After up-and-down 1st half, St. Louis still in race but has eye on future

Cards looking to invest, not sell at Deadline

ST. LOUIS -- Though a playoff spot is still within reach, the look of the Cardinals' first half leads them toward the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline with a potentially more complicated approach.

With a 10-5 finish to the first half, the Cardinals expunged any notion that they'd approach the next few weeks solely as sellers. But this is also an organization hesitant to go all-in given the erratic results of the first half and the fact that a National League Wild Card berth may be too tough to attain.

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

Inbox: Should DeJong, Voit stick in lineup?

Beat reporter Jenifer Langosch answers questions from Cardinals fans

Inbox: Should DeJong, Voit stick in lineup?

Before the Cardinals open the second half with a three-game series in Pittsburgh, let's take a look at some of the questions on your mind.

With Paul DeJong and Luke Voit doing so well and Kolten Wong coming back from the DL, where does that leave Matt Carpenter? His defense at second base is not great, and his bat has been sluggish. Voit is on a tear, and I see no reason to take him out of the lineup until he starts slumping. Is Carpenter a trade piece, or could Jedd Gyorko be traded since Carpenter can play third as well?
-- Tony G., Bridgeton, Mo.

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