Cards support strong Lynn in win over Giants

Cards support strong Lynn in win over Giants

SAN FRANCISCO -- Yadier Molina hit a two-run single in the fifth inning and Lance Lynn cruised through seven shutout innings as the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the San Francisco Giants, 6-0, on Saturday afternoon at AT&T Park.

The outcome helped St. Louis extend its division lead to four games (pending Saturday night's Pirates vs. Rockies result) and pushed San Francisco to three games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers (pending the outcome of the Dodgers vs. Cubs game later Saturday).

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. 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. Oliver Macklin is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lynn sprains ankle in eighth inning vs. Giants

Cardinals starter laughs off injury, feels next start not in jeopardy

Lynn sprains ankle in eighth inning vs. Giants

SAN FRANCISCO -- A mild right ankle sprain kept Lance Lynn from pursuing his first shutout of the season in the Cardinals' 6-0 victory over the Giants at AT&T Park on Saturday. The Cardinals are optimistic, however, that the injury won't keep him from much more.

Lynn stumbled his way around Saturday's seven-inning start, even at one point tripping down the dugout steps. On the field, he took his first visit from the team's head athletic trainer in the fifth inning when his right knee buckled as he tried to field a short ground ball to his left.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

MLB.com Columnist

Lyle Spencer

Molina performing perfectly for Cardinals

Molina performing perfectly for Cardinals

SAN FRANCISCO -- Yadier Molina is a great player. Precisely how great, even in this age of advanced analytics, we may never know. There simply is no math -- new or old -- to calculate his value to the St. Louis Cardinals as their field commander, leader and conscience.

Molina, who caught and went the distance on Friday night, strapped on the gear Saturday afternoon and went to work with starter Lance Lynn. The Cards subdued the surging Giants, 6-0, to even the series with the club that eliminated them at AT&T Park in the National League Championship Series last October.

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Lyle Spencer is a national reporter and columnist for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @LyleMSpencer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Heston returns to oppose Cards' hot Garcia

Heston returns to oppose Cards' hot Garcia

The Cardinals will be closing their 10-game road trip and the Giants preparing to head out on one of their own as the two postseason hopefuls meet for the final time this season in a Sunday matinee game at AT&T Park. The Cardinals lead the season series, three games to two.

The Giants scratched Matt Cain from his scheduled Sunday start and will replace him with right-hander Chris Heston, who will be pitching on 12 days' rest. After allowing one run over 4 2/3 innings in an Aug. 17 start against St. Louis, Heston was sent down to Triple-A to make rotation room for Mike Leake. The Giants, in an effort to monitor Heston's workload, had him throw several bullpen sessions, but not pitch in a game, during his time away.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Cishek carries inspiration with him to mound

Cardinals reliever reads Bible verse on card before each appearance

Cishek carries inspiration with him to mound

SAN FRANCISCO -- Tucked into Cardinals reliever Steve Cishek's pocket every time he takes the mound is a square piece of laminated paper, the edges of which show the wear of time. That card has become as much a part of his in-game routine as his warmup pitches, with Cishek pausing before he faces his first batter to step off the mound to pull out the card and read the words.

On it is a handwritten Bible verse -- Colossians 3:23 -- that Cishek likes to recite as a reminder of how to carry himself on the mound. The New International Version of the Bible cites it as:

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Cardinals fall to Giants on walk-off hit

Cardinals fall to Giants on walk-off hit

SAN FRANCISCO -- Kelby Tomlinson delivered a walk-off single in the ninth inning and Marlon Byrd smacked a grand slam in the third to power the San Francisco Giants to a 5-4 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night at AT&T Park.

After hitting his first career home run Thursday, Tomlinson one-upped himself Friday, lining a 2-2 fastball to center field off the Cardinals' Kevin Siegrist with the bases loaded to pull the Giants to 4 1/2 games back of the Cubs for the second National League Wild Card spot and keep them 2 1/2 behind the Dodgers in the NL West.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. 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. Oliver Macklin is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Miscues haunt Cardinals in loss to Giants

Two errors precede grand slam; walks set up game-deciding hit

Miscues haunt Cardinals in loss to Giants

SAN FRANCISCO -- After sweeping a series in Arizona behind reliable defense and all-around execution, the Cardinals gave away too many free bases and extra outs to avoid another crushing ending in a place that haunted them last October.

All five runs in San Francisco's 5-4 victory at AT&T Park came with an assist from the Cardinals, who posted their second three-error game on this road trip and then set up the Giants' walk-off celebration with a pair of free passes.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

MLB.com Columnist

Lyle Spencer

Wacha shows he's a legit No. 1 for Cardinals

St. Louis starter shakes off NLCS nightmare with strong outing vs. Giants

Wacha shows he's a legit No. 1 for Cardinals

SAN FRANCISCO -- Michael Wacha missed on a pitch to Marlon Byrd -- hanging a curveball that cost him four unearned runs -- and was unable to ring up his 16th win of the season on Friday night to match Madison Bumgarner and Jake Arrieta for the National League lead.

But what Wacha did before the Giants prevailed, 5-4, on Kelby Tomlinson's walk-off single in the ninth outweighed what he did not do. The Cardinals' 24-year-old right-hander from Texarkana, Texas, showed why he's a legitimate No. 1 on the best pitching staff in the game.

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Lyle Spencer is a national reporter and columnist for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @LyleMSpencer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Piscotty has strong night in homecoming

Cardinals rookie gets two hits, makes nice plays before family, friends

Piscotty has strong night in homecoming

SAN FRANCISCO -- Playing as close to his Bay Area hometown as he has since he was a standout player at Stanford University, Cardinals rookie outfielder Stephen Piscotty treated his personal cheering section of approximately 50 friends and family members to a web gem in the field and a two-hit night at the plate.

Though the Cardinals eventually suffered a 5-4 walk-off loss to the Giants, Piscotty keyed the team's comeback attempt against starter Mike Leake. His two-out, two-run double in the fourth capped a three-run inning that pulled the Cardinals to within one after Marlon Byrd's grand slam. With a ninth-inning single, Piscotty notched his 10th multi-hit games since debuting July 21.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. 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 hire Flores as new scouting director

SAN FRANCISCO -- Randy Flores, a reliever on the Cardinals' 2006 World Series championship club, has returned to the organization to serve as the director of scouting, a position the Cardinals were unexpectedly left to fill after the dismissal of Chris Correa on July 1.

Flores becomes the Cardinals' fourth scouting director in the last five years. Jeff Luhnow held the title until 2011, at which time he left to become general manager of the Astros. Dan Kantrovitz followed him and spent three years in the post before taking a front-office position with the A's. Correa, hired last December, was let go this summer after becoming a person of interest in an FBI investigation into unauthorized access of the Houston Astros' database. Correa later admitted to entering the Astros' system.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Rosenthal missing SF series for birth of child

Cardinals recall reliever Tuivailala with closer on paternity leave

Rosenthal missing SF series for birth of child

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Cardinals will be without their All-Star closer for the final leg of this three-city road trip, after Trevor Rosenthal returned to St. Louis on Friday morning to attend the birth of his second daughter.

By putting Rosenthal on the paternity-leave list, the Cards were able to temporarily replace him on the roster with right-hander Sam Tuivailala. This will be Tuivailala's fourth stint with the Major League club this season.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Unusual suspects lead Cards' 5th straight win

Unusual suspects lead Cards' 5th straight win

PHOENIX -- The Cardinals completed a season sweep of the D-backs on Thursday with a 5-3 victory punctuated by home runs from backup catcher Tony Cruz and fill-in outfielder Brandon Moss before reliever Seth Maness highlighted the night by pulling off a great escape.

After sweeping a three-game home series against the D-backs in May, the Cardinals interrupted Arizona's attempt to keep climbing up the National League West standings by winning four straight at Chase Field. In doing so, the Cardinals, who have won five in a row on this road trip, maintained their 4 1/2-game lead in the NL Central. This was their first four-game sweep at Chase Field.

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Jenifer Langosch and Jesse Sanchez are reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Moss ends drought with first Cardinals homer

Moss ends drought with first Cardinals homer

PHOENIX -- After a series of balls hit to the warning track during his first four weeks with his new team, Brandon Moss, much to his relief, finally showed the Cardinals his ability to drop one over.

Moss, homerless in his first 58 appearances with St. Louis after blasting 15 with the Indians before a July 30 trade, delivered a tiebreaking homer that would eventually stand as a game-winner in Thursday night's 5-3 win over Arizona.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Maness amazes with bases-loaded escape act

Maness amazes with bases-loaded escape act

PHOENIX -- In three years with the Cardinals, Seth Maness has distinguished himself as the bullpen fireman, the one summoned to extinguish the messes. But never had he pulled off an escape as seemingly impossible as the one he did to preserve the team's 5-3 win over the D-backs on Thursday night.

Maness played magician in the eighth inning, doing so without even needing to lean on the double-play ball that has helped him out of so many jams before. Entering into a bases-loaded, no-out predicament created by Steve Cishek, Maness notched a pair of strikeouts before inducing a ground ball to end the threat.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Jay set to rehab at Triple-A this weekend

Jay set to rehab at Triple-A this weekend

PHOENIX -- Of the Cardinals' seven players rehabbing an injury, outfielder Jon Jay will be the first to begin a rehab assignment with one of the organization's Minor League affiliates.

Jay, who has missed the team's last 51 games while strengthening his left wrist, is scheduled to meet up with the Triple-A Memphis club on Friday as it continues a road series in Reno, Nev. The Cardinals have not determined whether Jay will be in Friday's lineup or wait until the weekend to play. The team has also not projected how long the rehab assignment will last. With rosters set to expand on Tuesday, the Cardinals would not activate the center fielder before then.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. 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 follow Lackey to fourth straight win

Cards follow Lackey to fourth straight win

PHOENIX -- Needing a win to maintain their 4 1/2-game lead over the Pirates in the National League Central, the Cardinals extended their winning streak to four with a 3-1 win over the D-backs in front of 17,572 at Chase Field on Wednesday night.

After the two teams traded home runs, St. Louis buried Arizona with a two-run seventh, capped by run-scoring hits from Kolten Wong and Matt Carpenter. With Stephen Piscotty in motion on a hit-and-run, Wong laced an RBI double off David Hernandez into the left-field corner to give the Cardinals their first lead of the night. Carpenter, who had struck out in his first three at-bats, padded the lead with a two-out RBI single to right off Andrew Chafin.

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Steve Gilbert and Jenifer Langosch are reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rosenthal has 2nd straight 40-save season

Cards' closer on pace to break Lee Smith's franchise record of 47

Rosenthal has 2nd straight 40-save season

PHOENIX -- A year after becoming the fifth Cardinals pitcher to complete a 40-save season, Trevor Rosenthal moved into even rarer company by joining Lee Smith as the only closers in franchise history with two.

Rosenthal pitched a scoreless ninth on Wednesday to put a bow on the Cardinals' 3-1 win over the D-backs and notch his 40th save. He reached that number in just 42 opportunities, with his only two blown saves through the team's first 126 games coming against division-rival Pittsburgh.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Double plays proving to be Cards' desert friends

Double plays proving to be Cards' desert friends

PHOENIX -- The Cardinals arrived in Arizona having turned 111 double plays through their first 123 games, a total that ranked 15th in the Majors. In just three days, they have added another eight twin killings to that list.

The latest three came on Wednesday night, all to benefit starter John Lackey and help buy time for the offense to do some late-inning scoring. Those double plays, as well as a web gem from center fielder Tommy Pham, loomed large as the Cardinals pushed their winning streak to four games with a 3-1 win over the D-backs.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Bourjos hopes to deliver when Cards call

Bourjos hopes to deliver when Cards call

PHOENIX -- With a seventh-inning home run in Tuesday's 9-1 win over Arizona, Peter Bourjos snapped a hitless skid that extended 21 at-bats over 35 days. Bourjos understood, though, that while a relief, that sort of result is unlikely to buy him much playing time on a team that has bypassed him several times while sifting through various center-field options.

Randal Grichuk took over the position when Jon Jay went down with a thumb injury. Since Grichuk's injury, the Cardinals have used Jason Heyward and, most recently, Tommy Pham to fill the vacancy. As for Bourjos, he continues to await late-game opportunities to pinch-hit, pinch-run or offer his above-average defensive skills.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. 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' aggressiveness pays dividends

Cards' aggressiveness pays dividends

PHOENIX -- In all those postgame news conferences during which Cardinals manager Mike Matheny has had to defend aggressively running into outs, he has remained consistent in his insistence that pushing the envelope on the bases will offer a long-term payoff. And indeed, in Tuesday night's runaway 9-1 win over Arizona, the Cardinals generated much of their early offense by aggressively taking extra bases.

It started from the top with Matt Carpenter, who, after drawing a nine-pitch leadoff walk, sprinted first-to-third on Tommy Pham's single to right. Pham took the extra 90 feet, too, as Carpenter's hustle drew a throw from right fielder Yasmany Tomas. Both Carpenter and Pham would score on Jason Heyward's two-run single.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. 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 ride 4-run first in rout of D-backs

Cards ride 4-run first in rout of D-backs

PHOENIX -- Buoyed by a four-run first inning, the Cardinals cruised to a 9-1 win over the D-backs on Tuesday to further fortify their National League Central lead.

With a second victory in as many nights at Chase Field, the Cardinals capitalized on Pittsburgh's loss in Miami to increase their division lead to 4 1/2 games. Arizona falls 6 1/2 games behind the first-place Dodgers in the NL West. The Cardinals also became the Majors' first team to 80 wins.

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Steve Gilbert and Jenifer Langosch are reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wong's days off bear fruit with pair of hits

Wong's days off bear fruit with pair of hits

PHOENIX -- Rejuvenated and refocused after a pair of off-days, Kolten Wong returned to the Cardinals' starting lineup on Tuesday zeroed in on achieving proper process regardless the result. He came away from the Cards' 9-1 win over the D-backs having enjoyed the bonus of both.

Stuck in his first substantial skid of the season, Wong showed signs of breaking out with his second multi-hit game of the month. He continued the offense's first-inning assault on starter Robbie Ray by contributing an RBI single. Wong later doubled in a fifth-inning at-bat.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

MLB.com Columnist

Roger Schlueter

Stats of the Day: Yadi at his best in the clutch

Cardinals catcher has .301 career mark with runners in scoring position

Stats of the Day: Yadi at his best in the clutch

Here are five interesting items from around the big leagues Tuesday …

• In the Cardinals' 9-1 win over the D-backs, Yadier Molina went 1-for-1 with runners in scoring position and drove in a pair of runs by doing so (one of the RBIs came on a sacrifice fly). In 1,507 career plate appearances with runners in scoring position, Molina owns a .301 average. He is one of 14 Cards since 1973 to have at least 1,000 trips to plate in the split, and among them, his .301 is bested by only Albert Pujols (.342) and Matt Holliday (.319).

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Roger Schlueter is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Broxton, Cishek giving Cards just what they need

Broxton, Cishek giving Cards just what they need

PHOENIX -- It's been nearly four weeks since the Cardinals finished reinforcing their bullpen by acquiring Jonathan Broxton to follow the arrival of Steve Cishek, and the club continues to enjoy the benefits, both direct and indirect, of the additions.

The Cardinals' two newest relievers have made strong first impressions after enduring rough patches with their previous clubs. Cishek, who posted a 4.50 ERA with the Marlins, has allowed one run on seven hits in 11 appearances. Broxton, too, has allowed just one run in his 10 outings. He arrived in St. Louis after putting up a 5.89 ERA with the Brewers.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Belisle cleared to amp up rehab program

Belisle cleared to amp up rehab program

PHOENIX -- Back from a quick jaunt to Florida to seek the opinion of orthopedist Dr. James Andrews, Cardinals pitcher Matt Belisle amplified the intensity of his throwing program on Tuesday.

Belisle, sidelined by an unusual right elbow injury since June 26, was given clearance by Andrews to make this next push, which includes a targeted resumption of throwing off the mound before the end of the team's road trip. Andrews reviewed the medical information Belisle had gathered during visits to other orthopedists before offering his recommendations.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Lynn stymies D-backs with quartet of twin killings

Lynn stymies D-backs with quartet of twin killings

PHOENIX -- Often one to rely more on power than placement, Cardinals starter Lance Lynn on Monday night became the first Cardinals pitcher in more than four years to record four double plays in an outing.

Lynn made his bundle of twin killings timely, too, as three ended innings and two rescued him from bases-loaded jams in a game the Cardinals would eventually win, 5-3, over Arizona. Lynn pitched the first six innings and picked up his 10th victory.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. 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 rally to halt D-backs' winning streak

Cards rally to halt D-backs' winning streak

PHOENIX -- A three-run seventh inning, highlighted by run-scoring hits from Tommy Pham and Yadier Molina, helped the Cardinals to a 5-3 win as they opened a four-game series against the D-backs on Monday night at Chase Field.

The victory ensured St. Louis would maintain its 3 1/2-game lead in the National League Central over the surging Pirates, winners in eight of their last 10 games. Arizona's rapid climb up the NL West standings hit a halt as the team's four-game winning streak was snapped. The D-backs trail the first-place Dodgers by 5 1/2 games.

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Steve Gilbert and Jenifer Langosch are reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Garcia atones for errors in game-winning rally

Garcia atones for errors in game-winning rally

PHOENIX -- Having already committed a pair of uncharacteristic throwing errors while subbing in at second base for a struggling Kolten Wong, Greg Garcia had big plans as he stepped to the plate in the seventh inning of a 2-2 game.

"Lance was picking me up, time after time," Garcia said, referring to starting pitcher Lance Lynn after the team's eventual 5-3 win over Arizona. "I knew he was coming out of the game [after six innings], and I wanted to do something to get him the win. In my head I'm like, 'I'm going to hit a home run.'"

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.