Garcia struggles as Cards let Mets gain ground

Garcia struggles as Cards let Mets gain ground

ST. LOUIS -- Though starter Jonathon Niese lasted only 21 pitches before an achy left knee forced him to the clubhouse, the Mets, behind a pair of early home runs and an exhaustive effort from the bullpen, nabbed a 7-4 victory over the Cardinals on Tuesday night at Busch Stadium. The win cut into the Cardinals' advantage over New York for the second National League Wild Card spot, too. The Mets' deficit in that race now sits at 3 1/2 games.

"They know they're playing for something," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "Each and every night, we've got to grind it out."

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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.

Adams closest of injured Cards to returning

Adams closest of injured Cards to returning

ST. LOUIS -- Eleven players still crowd the Cardinals' disabled list, though there are signs of progress that leave the club optimistic of several late returns.

Here is a rundown of injury updates offered by general manager John Mozeliak ahead of the Cardinals' six-game homestand:

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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.

Lynn pitching in Majors this year unlikely

Cardinals right-hander working way back from offseason elbow surgery

Lynn pitching in Majors this year unlikely

ST. LOUIS -- Though he'll be throwing about 50 pitches in a rehab assignment start with Double-A Springfield on Wednesday, Cardinals pitcher Lance Lynn, who is little more than nine months removed from Tommy John surgery, characterized his chances of a late-season return as "very slim."

"I won't be able to do anything really that's going to help benefit the team," Lynn said. "We're treating it as rehab and kind of like a mini Spring Training so that when I go into Spring Training next year, I will be ready. There are always maybes if everything goes well, but the plan is to get through the rehab and get ready to go for next year."

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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.

Garcia undone by mechanical issues

Cards lefty allows six runs over four innings during loss to Mets

Garcia undone by mechanical issues

ST. LOUIS -- Jaime Garcia's mechanics betrayed him a few too many times on Tuesday, leading to a home result that looked quite different than what the Cardinals have become accustomed to seeing from their lone lefty starter.

Garcia never could settle in against the Mets, who took advantage of favorable counts and elevated pitches to race out to a quick lead en route to a 7-4 victory. They snapped Garcia's three-game winning streak in the process and snuck closer in a Wild Card race that now has three teams bunched within 3 1/2 games of the Cardinals.

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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.

Coming off strong start, Martinez faces Mets

Coming off strong start, Martinez faces Mets

Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez has struggled to post consistent outings this season. He'll face off with Jacob deGrom, who is coming off a poor start but has found more success in 2016, when the pair meets in the second game of a three-game set at Busch Stadium on Wednesday. The Mets are trying to gain ground on the Cards, who lead them by 3 1/2 games in the race for the second National League Wild Card spot.

deGrom has managed to keep his ERA under three over the past three months and posted a 0.65 ERA over a four-start span before he gave up eight runs on 13 hits over five innings in his last outing against the Giants.

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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.

2006 club reminisces at Cards Speaker Series

2006 club reminisces at Cards Speaker Series

ST. LOUIS -- It might happen on a stage, but the Cardinals Speaker Series at Busch Stadium feels more like a conversation with close friends over dinner than a moderated talk.

David Eckstein, Randy Flores and Jim Edmonds were the latest former Cardinals to join FOX Sports Midwest broadcaster Dan McLaughlin in the Redbird Club Monday night.

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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.

Leake blanks Phils with control, versatility

Starter fans eight in seven strong innings, hits 2-run single

Leake blanks Phils with control, versatility

PHILADELPHIA -- Cardinals pitcher Mike Leake hit a two-run single to break open a game against the Phillies on Sunday. He called what he did with the bat something that is "sometimes my job."

What he did with his arm is the kind of work he would like to do every time he takes the mound.

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Stephen Pianovich is a contributor to MLB.com based in Philadelphia. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Alyson Footer

IMAX movie brings The Show on the road

Special presentation of 'We Are Baseball' transports viewers on Hall of Fame tour

IMAX movie brings The Show on the road

Nestled in the five-trailer platform that comprises the "We Are Baseball" traveling Hall of Fame tour is a mobile theater that shows an 11-minute IMAX movie, spotlighting the best of what the game provides today, and offering glimpses of where it is headed in the future.

Baseball, steeped deeply in tradition, will always connect generations and harken back to its past. But Major League Baseball has taken a deliberate and giant step forward, shifting its focus to a younger generation of fans stimulated more by what is in front of them than by what has already happened.

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Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cards crank 4 HRs in Leake's scoreless start

Cards crank 4 HRs in Leake's scoreless start

PHILADELPHIA -- The homer-happy Cardinals belted four balls out of Citizens Bank Park on Sunday and ended their road trip with an offensive outburst in a 9-0 win over the Phillies.

Brandon Moss, Stephen Piscotty, Jedd Gyorko and Jeremy Hazelbaker all went deep for St. Louis, and the team has now homered in 11 straight games -- 10 of which have been multi-homer contests. Moss and Piscotty hit leadoff homers in the fourth and fifth innings, respectively, while Gyorko and Hazelbaker each hit two-run shots in a four-run eighth. Mike Leake pitched seven shutout innings for the Cardinals in the rubber match of the series.

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Stephen Pianovich is a contributor to MLB.com based in Philadelphia and covered the Cardinals on Sunday.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

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

Hazelbaker homers, but Weaver takes 1st loss

Hazelbaker homers, but Weaver takes 1st loss

PHILADELPHIA -- The Cardinals needed two home runs Saturday against the Phillies to set a Major League record. But it was the Phillies who used a pair of solo shots to prevail in their 4-2 win at Citizens Bank Park.

Cesar Hernandez roped his first career leadoff home run into the right-field seats, and Aaron Altherr added another in the sixth.

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Evan Webeck is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Cardinals on Saturday.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

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

Matheny: Weaver trying too hard to be perfect

Young starter takes first loss after elevating pitch count in early frames

Matheny: Weaver trying too hard to be perfect

PHILADELPHIA -- Luke Weaver gets nerves before every game. But the special jitters he had before his first Major League start a week ago have subsided.

What hasn't subsided, manager Mike Matheny speculated after the Cardinals' 4-2 loss to the Phillies on Saturday, is the high regard in which Weaver holds Major League hitters. Not to be mistaken, facing big league hitters is much different than facing Minor Leaguers -- but it can force a young pitcher into trying to be too perfect.

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

Cards top Phils in 11 on Grichuk's clutch 2B

Cards top Phils in 11 on Grichuk's clutch 2B

PHILADELPHIA -- Randal Grichuk does not want to get sent back to the Minors -- and he's playing like it.

Jhonny Peralta led off the 11th inning by hammering a double into left. An out later, Grichuk followed with a two-bagger of his own, driving home Peralta and giving the Cardinals a 4-3 lead that St. Louis top prospect -- per MLBPipeline.com -- Alex Reyes closed out in the bottom half of the inning on Friday at Citizens Bank Park, earning his first career save. The win was the Cardinals' fifth in a row and gave them a two-game lead over Pittsburgh for the second National League Wild Card spot.

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Evan Webeck is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Cardinals on Friday.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

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

Cards' 9th straight multi-HR game ties MLB record

Grichuk, Gyorko slug dingers in win vs. Phils to equal mark set four other times

Cards' 9th straight multi-HR game ties MLB record

PHILADELPHIA -- Jedd Gyorko's game-tying blast off Phillies closer Jeanmar Gomez in the ninth inning was the Cardinals' second homer of the game. Notable? Absolutely. But even more so when it marks the club's ninth straight multi-homer game.

St. Louis became the fifth team to go yard at least twice in a Major League-record nine consecutive games when Gyorko followed Randal Grichuk's second-inning solo shot in the Cardinals' 4-3, 11-inning win Friday night at Citizens Bank Park.

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

Maness has UCL, not Tommy John, surgery

Recovery time shortened after doctors opt to fix, not replace torn ligament

Maness has UCL, not Tommy John, surgery

PHILADELPHIA -- Seth Maness' surgery on his ulnar collateral ligament Thursday went well, in two aspects. It was a successful operation -- and it wasn't Tommy John surgery, as had originally been scheduled.

Rather than replacing Maness's injured ligament with another -- the Tommy John procedure -- doctors only repaired the existing one, drastically reducing his recovery time.

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

Inbox: Will Cards call up Minor Leaguers?

Beat reporter Jenifer Langosch answers questions from St. Louis fans

Inbox: Will Cards call up Minor Leaguers?

HOUSTON -- With 42 games left on the Cardinals' schedule and a Wild Card berth up for grabs, it seems like a good time to tackle another batch of your questions. I plucked some questions off Twitter; others were emailed to me. Just remember to kindly submit your name and hometown along with your question when sending one in the future.

Are there any potential September callups who are not currently on the 40-man roster? Ryan Sherriff? Harrison Bader? And will we see Mike Ohlman, Carson Kelly or Patrick Wisdom on the roster in September?
-- Curry S., Abilene, Kan.

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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.

Martinez, Cards cruise to fourth straight win

Martinez, Cards cruise to fourth straight win

HOUSTON -- Behind a dominant outing on the mound from Carlos Martinez and an offensive onslaught featuring 12 hits and home runs from Jeremy Hazelbaker and Brandon Moss, the Cardinals won their fourth in a row, beating the Astros, 8-2, at Minute Maid Park on Wednesday afternoon.

With the victory, the Cardinals maintained their one-game lead over the Pirates for the second National League Wild Card berth. They are two games behind the Giants for the top NL Wild Card spot.

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Jordan Ray is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston.

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 living up to Matheny's bold prediction

St. Louis swats two more HRs, leads MLB with 166

Cards living up to Matheny's bold prediction

HOUSTON -- Mike Matheny's message that February day in Jupiter, Fla., took many paths, as it was his first opportunity to address the players that would eventually make up his 2016 squad. Expectations were a key focus in the gathering before the team's first full-squad workout, and, at one point, the fifth-year manager zeroed in on what that meant for the offense.

Matheny looked around the room and boldly asserted that this group would be "scoring some serious runs."

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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.

Wild Cards: Two homers topple Astros

Wild Cards: Two homers topple Astros

HOUSTON -- On a night when home runs came early and often, the Cardinals used a pair of dingers to take one from the Astros, 8-5, on Tuesday night at Minute Maid Park. It was St. Louis' first win against its old National League foe this season.

Both starting pitchers struggled to keep the opposing offenses at bay, but lefty Jaime Garcia was just slightly more effective than Houston's Dallas Keuchel. Garcia gave up seven hits -- including three homers -- and five runs in five-plus innings, while Keuchel gave up six hits and six runs in five-plus innings.

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Jordan Ray is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston.

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.

Gyorko proving invaluable to Cardinals

Gyorko proving invaluable to Cardinals

HOUSTON -- Amid the unrelenting injuries the Cardinals have sustained over the last six weeks has emerged an irreplaceable bat and a stabilizing presence in the infield.

Once a player without a position, Jedd Gyorko has not only wiggled his way into everyday opportunities, he has left the Cardinals wondering where they would be without him. His three-run blast on Tuesday -- which propelled the Cardinals to an 8-5 victory over the Astros -- was just the latest in a growing list of key contributions by the utility infielder.

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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.

Aiming for return, Holliday opts for surgery

Aiming for return, Holliday opts for surgery

HOUSTON -- Given the option of undergoing surgery or allowing his fractured right thumb to heal with rest, Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday opted to take the path that would give him a chance to return to the field this season.

That means Holliday will undergo surgery in St. Louis on Wednesday to repair a bone that was fractured by a 94-mph pitch last Thursday. Having the procedure does not guarantee a return in 2016, but it at least allows for the possibility. There's a little less than seven weeks remaining in the regular 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, 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 can still be 'big piece' for Cardinals

Matheny wants free-swinging outfielder to seize second chance in return to bigs

Grichuk can still be 'big piece' for Cardinals

HOUSTON -- Already willing to lean on a pair of rookie pitchers during a pennant race, the Cardinals also appear ready to recommit to another young player who hopes a flourish at the finish can salvage some positive from an uneven season.

An Opening Day center fielder and twice-demoted free-swinger, Randal Grichuk returned to the Majors on Thursday without an obvious fit. Circumstances quickly changed that, however, as an injury to Matt Holliday left a vacancy in the outfield.

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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.

Lynn scoreless in first rehab start after TJ surgery

Despite forecasts for missed season, 2016 return to Cardinals possible

Lynn scoreless in first rehab start after TJ surgery

HOUSTON -- Nine months after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his right elbow that was expected to wipe away his 2016 season, Lance Lynn is ready to compete.

Lynn began a rehab assignment by starting for Class A Advanced Palm Beach on Monday, allowing one hit and striking out two over 1 2/3 scoreless innings vs. the Charlotte Stone Crabs. The rehab stint can extend up to 30 days, meaning that Lynn will be able to continue appearing in games through the end of the Minor League 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, 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 wait out Lackey, stun Cubs with big 8th

Cards wait out Lackey, stun Cubs with big 8th

CHICAGO -- After winning the first two games of their four-game series against the Cardinals, the Cubs wanted more. But for the second straight game, St. Louis rallied against Chicago's bullpen, sparked by Stephen Piscotty's three-run homer in a five-run eighth inning, to split the series.

Piscotty's homer gave the Cardinals a 4-3 lead, and Brandon Moss added a solo shot, both off Hector Rondon, en route to a 6-4 victory in front of 41,019 at Wrigley Field.

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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.

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.

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

No matter what, never count out Cardinals

No matter what, never count out Cardinals

CHICAGO -- According to the National League Central standings, the St. Louis Cardinals are 12 games behind the Chicago Cubs. Yet you can't help but wonder: Do they have the league right where they want it?

There are teams you can write off when they're beat up and things aren't going well. Then there are the Cardinals.

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Phil Rogers is a national columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cardinals bullpen catcher effortlessly snags foul

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Cardinals bullpen catcher effortlessly snags foul

Bullpen catchers are essential members of any baseball team, but they rarely get to show off their skills on a wider stage. But that wasn't the case for the Cardinals' Jamie Pogue on Sunday night, who got prove his catching prowess in front of fans during St. Louis' 6-4 win over the Cubs. It just wasn't of the behind-the-plate variety. 

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Pinch-hit, power combo key to Cards' success

St. Louis rallies with 5-run 8th to gain split at Wrigley

Pinch-hit, power combo key to Cards' success

CHICAGO -- The two most reliable offensive catalysts this season -- pinch-hitting and power -- came through again on Sunday for a Cardinals club that was well aware of who was looming. Three outs away from meeting Aroldis Chapman, the Cardinals, boosted by their bench and two blasts, toppled Chicago's pursuit of a series win with a five-run eighth that secured a 6-4 win.

Chapman, who has run off 27 straight scoreless appearances against the Cardinals, never pitched with a lead in this series, largely because the Cardinals scored 12 eighth-inning runs in a four-day span. Both of their wins were of the come-from-behind variety, and the Cardinals muscled up for nine series home runs.

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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.

Siegrist lifted in middle of 8th with arm soreness

Cards reliever has dealt with issue since coming off DL

Siegrist lifted in middle of 8th with arm soreness

CHICAGO -- Kevin Siegrist's mid-inning exit in the eighth was more precautionary than injury-related, manager Mike Matheny said after the Cardinals' 6-4 win over the Cubs on Sunday.

Siegrist said that he has been bothered by "a deadish feeling" in his throwing arm on and off since returning from the disabled list just after the All-Star break. While the issue isn't expected to sideline the setup reliever for long, it was something that the Cardinals have been monitoring.

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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.

Garcia's sharp defense keeping him in lineup

Cardinals shortstop mired in offensive slump

Garcia's sharp defense keeping him in lineup

CHICAGO -- Though Greg Garcia entered Sunday in an extended slump, the stability he offers the Cardinals at shortstop has been enough to bump him from a utility role to an everyday one this month.

Garcia drew the start at short for a fifth straight game in Sunday's finale with the Cubs and appears to be the team's preferred choice at the position until Aledmys Diaz returns from a broken thumb. It's likely to be September before that happens.

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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.