With WC spot close, Cards visit Pittsburgh

With WC spot close, Cards visit Pittsburgh

If the Cardinals want to keep up with -- and pass -- the Brewers and Rockies in the National League Wild Card race, they could use another sweep of the Pirates this weekend at PNC Park.

The Cards beat the Bucs three games in a row at Busch Stadium from Sept. 8-10, vaulting back into the NL Central and Wild Card races. They have lost ground to the Cubs in the former, but they still have time to make a run at the second Wild Card spot, especially if they can take care of business against the Pirates, as they've done 10 times in 16 matchups this season. St. Louis is only 1 1/2 games behind Colorado for a postseason berth.

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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.

Cards sweep Reds; within 1 1/2 of WC spot

Cards sweep Reds; within 1 1/2 of WC spot

CINCINNATI -- Even given scant odds of making the postseason following a sweep by the first-place Cubs last weekend, the Cardinals did exactly what they needed to do in three games vs. the Reds -- win.

An 8-5 St. Louis victory over Cincinnati completed the series sweep at Great American Ball Park on Thursday night. It also put the Cards 1 1/2 games behind the Rockies for the second National League Wild Card spot. St. Louis remained five back in the NL Central race, but gained a game on Milwaukee, which sits 4 1/2 behind Chicago and one behind Colorado.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Andy Call is a contributor to MLB.com based in Cincinnati and covered the Cardinals on Thursday.

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

Cardinals find right batting order at right time

Cardinals find right batting order at right time

CINCINNATI -- Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, like many of his peers, admits one of his offseason activities is to write down different potential batting orders for his team heading into the next season.

But if you look back through all of those balled-up sheets of scrap paper from last winter, you won't find this batting order.

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Andy Call is a contributor to MLB.com based in Cincinnati and covered the Cardinals on Thursday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Molina, wife raise money for Puerto Rico

Molina, wife raise money for Puerto Rico

CINCINNATI -- Yadier Molina's name will always be tied to the history of baseball in Puerto Rico.

On Thursday, however, the veteran St. Louis Cardinals catcher took the initiative to show his love for his native country in a way that goes beyond baseball.

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Andy Call is a contributor to MLB.com based in Cincinnati who covered the Cardinals on Thursday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Perfectionist Weaver wins MLB-best 7th straight

Longest win streak by a Cardinals rookie since Wilks in 1944

Perfectionist Weaver wins MLB-best 7th straight

CINCINNATI -- Luke Weaver wants to perfect his craft. That's still his first priority.

But, if he can be nearly perfect while all that perfecting is going on, so much the better.

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Andy Call is a contributor to MLB.com based in Cincinnati and covered the Cardinals on Wednesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cards hit 3 early HRs, cut WC deficit to 2 1/2

Cards hit 3 early HRs, cut WC deficit to 2 1/2

CINCINNATI -- With the Cardinals having a lot of ground to make up in their hunt for the postseason, they need to play well and get help from others. St. Louis did its part by attacking the Reds early and rolling to a 9-2 victory on Wednesday night at Great American Ball Park.

Meanwhile, the Rockies lost to the Giants to put the Cardinals 2 1/2 games back for the second National League Wild Card spot. In the division race, a loss by the first-place Cubs to the Rays inched third-place St. Louis to five games back in the NL Central. The Cards are only 1 1/2 behind the second-place Brewers in both the division and Wild Card standings following the Crew's walk-off loss to the Pirates.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Andy Call is a contributor to MLB.com based in Cincinnati and covered the Cardinals on Wednesday.

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

Former All-Star Diaz returns to Cardinals

Former All-Star Diaz returns to Cardinals

CINCINNATI -- The story of Aledmys Diaz's journey from Cuba to the big leagues has yet to be completely written. The first two chapters, however, have been interesting.

The Cardinals recalled the 27-year-old infielder, as well as right-hander Josh Lucas, from Triple-A Memphis prior to Wednesday's game against the Reds at Great American Ball Park. Diaz was a National League All-Star in 2016, but he's spent most of the second half of this season in the Minors.

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Andy Call is a contributor to MLB.com based in Cincinnati who covered the Cardinals on Wednesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yadi ignites Cards' sluggish offense with key HR

Yadi ignites Cards' sluggish offense with key HR

CINCINNATI -- No matter how bleak things may look for the Cardinals, they have Yadier Molina -- which means there's always a chance.

Coming off a weekend sweep at the hands of the Cubs that severely hurt their playoff chances, the Cardinals needed a win Tuesday night in Cincinnati, and Molina provided the spark to help them get one, an 8-7 victory in 10 innings over the Reds.

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Andrew Call is a contributor to MLB.com based in Cincinnati and covered the Cardinals on Tuesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cards get needed win, gain ground in WC race

Cards get needed win, gain ground in WC race

CINCINNATI -- Trying to hang on to their quickly fading postseason hopes, the Cardinals needed an early comeback then some late clutch hitting. It added up to an 8-7 victory over the Reds in 10 innings on Tuesday night at Great American Ball Park.

Dexter Fowler was responsible for two big St. Louis runs with a solo home run in the eighth inning and an RBI double in the 10th. Reds reliever Tim Adleman began the extra frame by hitting Kolten Wong with a pitch. Wong stole second base and scored the go-ahead run on Fowler's RBI double to right field. An RBI single by Paul DeJong provided insurance.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Andrew Call is a contributor to MLB.com based in Cincinnati and covered the Cardinals on Tuesday.

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

Waino activated from DL; Gyorko returns to field

Waino activated from DL; Gyorko returns to field

CINCINNATI -- It's all-hands-on-deck time for the Cardinals, who moved closer to full strength on Tuesday.

Veteran right-hander Adam Wainwright was activated from the 10-day disabled list prior to Tuesday's game against Cincinnati at Great American Ball Park after missing most of the past month due to a right elbow impingement. The plan is for him to pitch out of the bullpen for the rest of the season.

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Andy Call is a contributor to MLB.com based in Cincinnati and covered the Cardinals on Tuesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Does Wisdom fit in the Cards' future?

Beat reporter Jenifer Langosch answers questions from St. Louis fans

Inbox: Does Wisdom fit in the Cards' future?

ST. LOUIS -- While the Cardinals spend their final off-day of the regular season in Cincinnati, let's take a dive into some of the topics currently on your mind. A reminder that if you submit a question for future Inbox consideration, please also include your name and hometown.

What is the status of Patrick Wisdom? Why has he not been called up?
-- Barry B., St. Louis

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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.

Schmidt's vision inspired iconic red bird logo

Before Cardinals GM Rickey saw her centerpieces in '21, team name referred to color

Schmidt's vision inspired iconic red bird logo

Through the end of the 2017 season, the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum will feature a special 'Women in Baseball' exhibit to highlight women who have made contributions to St. Louis baseball and the game at large. In conjunction with this exhibit, MLB.com has been telling the stories of some of those women over the course of the past few months. We conclude this series by taking a look at look at the woman behind the Cardinals iconic "Birds on the Bat" logo.

ST. LOUIS -- There are few logos in baseball as closely linked to a team as the "Birds on the Bat" is to the Cardinals. The red birds that are now inseparable from the Cardinal name, however, were not featured by the team in its earliest days. Rather, the name originally referred to the color cardinal red.

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Alaina Getzenberg 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.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Flaherty on list of prospects with soaring stock

Flaherty on list of prospects with soaring stock

On Monday, we took a look at hitters who made the biggest leap forward in terms of prospect status in 2017. Now it's time to turn attention to the mound.

The pitchers on this list all turned in terrific seasons to jump much more firmly on the radar, pitching across multiple levels, often very young for the league they were in at the time. Some have gone from off the Top 100 prospects list to firmly on it, while others have leapt from the end of the list up close to the top.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Chicago trip leaves Cards with uphill climb

Chicago trip leaves Cards with uphill climb

CHICAGO -- The Cardinals showed up at Wrigley Field on Friday aware that a statement sweep would propel them into a first-place tie in the National League Central. By sundown on Sunday, however, it was the Cubs who had seemingly swept away the Cardinals' fading chances at reclaiming the division crown.

A 4-3 loss to the Cubs dropped the Cardinals six games back of the Cubs with 13 games left on the regular-season schedule. Sunday's matinee was not, by definition, a must-win game. But the importance of it also wasn't minimized by president of baseball operations John Mozeliak, who traveled in for the series finale.

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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.

Wrigley bounceback is not in the Cards

Wrigley bounceback is not in the Cards

CHICAGO -- After sweeping the Cardinals at Wrigley Field, what's the Cubs' theme for their next road trip? It's may be cliche, but it's "one game at a time." Chicago manager Joe Maddon and his players weren't giddy or gloating after winning their sixth in a row on Sunday, an intense 4-3 victory that sent St. Louis to six games back in the National League Central.

"We're just going one at a time, one game at a time, especially where we're at," said Kyle Schwarber, who hit his 27th home run in the win. "We're taking it day by day, pitch by pitch."

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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.

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

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

Wisdom slugs Memphis to PCL title

Redbirds take on Durham Bulls Tuesday night for Triple-A title

Wisdom slugs Memphis to PCL title

Patrick Wisdom hit a career-high 31 homers this season, but Sunday night's blast may be his most memorable as it helped lift Triple-A Memphis to a Pacific Coast League championship.

After posting a league-best 91-50 record in the regular season, the Redbirds topped El Paso, 3-1, to capture the franchises' third PCL championship and its first since 2009.

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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.

Cards' season defined by struggles vs. rivals

Cards' season defined by struggles vs. rivals

CHICAGO -- If the Cardinals can't correct course quickly enough to play their way back into October -- and they've put themselves in position where they don't fully control their own destiny -- the offseason will open with a diagnosis of what kept them short of their postseason goal.

Put the Cubs on that list.

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

Cards' quiet youth movement making noise

DeJong, Martinez, Pham will center St. Louis for years to come

Cards' quiet youth movement making noise

CHICAGO -- The Cardinals have had one of the best records in the National League since late June, and for a minute there on Friday, it sure looked like they had found a way to turn the clock back to 2015.

When John Lackey erupted in the fifth inning of the Cardinals' 8-2 loss to the Cubs, sparking a meltdown that would also cause Willson Contreras to be ejected, it looked like Chicago was the team feeling the heat in this NL Central race.

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

Cards struggle to support Wacha at Wrigley

Cards struggle to support Wacha at Wrigley

CHICAGO -- The Cubs had won their last four games by at least five runs, and needed to come from behind in all four. On Saturday, there were no late-inning heroics as they won their fifth in a row.

Albert Almora Jr. drove in two runs and Addison Russell delivered a pinch-hit homer to back Kyle Hendricks and lead the Cubs to a 4-1 victory over the Cardinals to improve to a season-high 16 games over .500.

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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.

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

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

C-Mart runs into trouble as Cards drop opener

C-Mart runs into trouble as Cards drop opener

CHICAGO -- The Cardinals-Cubs rivalry has historically been intense enough on its own, but it's overamped this weekend because of the close National League Central race. On Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field, the Cubs showed they're going to fight for the chance to repeat.

Despite losing both starting pitcher John Lackey and catcher Willson Contreras to ejections, the Cubs rallied for an 8-2 victory over the Cardinals to open a four-game lead in the division, with the Brewers sitting three back. Kris Bryant smacked a solo home run, scored the tying run and added an RBI single in a seven-run sixth inning to give Chicago its fourth straight win.

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

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.

Fowler hit by pitch in first game back

X-rays on right hand negative, but Cards being cautious

Fowler hit by pitch in first game back

CHICAGO -- After a week spent nursing a swollen and bruised left knee, Dexter Fowler passed his final series of medical tests and returned to the Cardinals' lineup on Saturday. He went 2-for-3 in a 4-1 loss to the Cubs, but also required X-rays on his right hand after getting hit by a ninth-inning pitch.

Those X-rays came back negative, Fowler confirmed, but the Cardinals will wait to see whether his hand swells before determining his status for Sunday's series finale at Wrigley Field.

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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.

Cardinals Care 6K called off due to protests

Gyorko runs bases at full speed; Wainwright set for bullpen session Saturday

Cardinals Care 6K called off due to protests

ST. LOUIS -- With local law enforcement concentrating its efforts on the protests that erupted following Friday's verdict in the murder trial of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley, the Cardinals have cancelled Sunday's eighth annual Cardinals Care 6K Run/Walk. There was no longer sufficient secondary police staffing available for the downtown event, the Cardinals said in a statement.

The Metropolitan Police Department of St. Louis announced on Thursday that its officers were going to mandatory 12-hour shifts and eliminating time off in order to increase its patrol presence. It is unclear how long the protests, which have been nonviolent, are expected to continue in the area.

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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.

O'Neill reaches three times for Memphis

O'Neill reaches three times for Memphis

Jorge Mateo tripled and scored a run and Sheldon Neuse collected two hits to back a strong outing by Heath Fillmyer and help Double-A Midland stay alive with 2-0 win over Tulsa in Game 3 of the Texas League finals.

Starting in a must-win game after Midland dropped the first two games of the series, Fillmyer, Oakland's No. 19 prospect, allowed just three hits en route to completing five scoreless innings. The 23-year-old right-hander threw 49 of his 84 pitches for strikes as he issued three walks, hit one batter and struck out four.

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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.

Pham becomes 6th Card to log 20 HRs, 20 SBs

Outfielder first St. Louis player to reach milestone since Sanders in 2004

Pham becomes 6th Card to log 20 HRs, 20 SBs

ST. LOUIS -- It seems fitting that a year in which Tommy Pham finally found a fix for his chronic vision problems will now also feature on-field success defined by the same figure: 20/20.

Pham became the sixth player in Cardinals franchise history to steal 20 bases and hit 20 homers in a single season, and he reached both plateaus within the same afternoon. Using his speed and his swing to spark a pair of two-run innings, Pham also turned his milestone day into a needed boost for the Cardinals, who notched a 5-2 win over the Reds at Busch Stadium on Thursday.

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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.

Cards gain ground with series win over Reds

Cards gain ground with series win over Reds

ST. LOUIS -- Cautioned by their manager not to get caught looking ahead to a huge weekend series at Wrigley Field, the Cardinals took care of the task at hand on Thursday by securing a series victory over the Reds with a 5-2 win at Busch Stadium. Luke Weaver shined over six innings, while Jose Martinez and Tommy Pham keyed the offense.

With their 11th win in 14 games, the Cardinals kept pace in the National League Central. The Cubs, who beat the Mets later Thursday evening, hold a three-game lead over both the Cards and Brewers in that race. St. Louis has pulled to within 2 1/2 games of the Rockies for the second NL Wild Card spot.

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Joe Harris is a contributor for MLB.com based in St. Louis and covered the Reds on Thursday.

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.

O'Neill keeps hit streak alive for Memphis

O'Neill keeps hit streak alive for Memphis

Brent Honeywell's knack for excelling on the biggest of stages was on full display Thursday as he pitched Triple-A Durham to a 6-2 win over Scranton in Game 3 of the Governors' Cup Finals.

Honeywell, Tampa Bay's top prospect and No. 12 on the Top 100, recorded his first six outs via the strikeout en route to fanning 10 batters in six scoreless innings. He scattered five hits and walked one while throwing 68 of his 96 pitches for strikes in the victory, which gives Durham a 2-1 series lead in the best-of-five finals.

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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 slip in playoff chase with loss to Reds

Cards slip in playoff chase with loss to Reds

ST. LOUIS -- An offense that tallied runs in six different innings one night earlier couldn't dent a single frame on Wednesday, and it cost the Cardinals critical ground in a pair of postseason races.

The Reds, who will play 11 of their final 17 games against the National League Central's three contending teams, remained a nuisance to the Cardinals, this time evening the three-game series with a 6-0 victory at Busch Stadium. Eugenio Suarez's fifth-inning grand slam served as the stinging blow.

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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 Gertzenberg is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Louis and covered the Reds on Wednesday.

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

Suarez's slam costly after Cardinals' miscues

Overturned call, HBP help Reds put up 5 runs in 5th

Suarez's slam costly after Cardinals' miscues

ST. LOUIS -- Eugenio Suarez's grand slam may have been the final blow in a five-run fifth inning for the Reds that sent the Cardinals to a 6-0 loss on Wednesday night, but it was a play and pitch not executed that pushed the inning deep enough for things to unravel.

While Reds rookie starter Tyler Mahle skirted trouble en route to his first Major League victory, Cards rookie starter Jack Flaherty complicated his Busch Stadium debut with an inability to turn a double play and finish off Mahle after getting ahead in the count. The extra out and extra runner, along with a critical replay review and grand slam, produced a deluge of two-out runs that dropped the Cardinals into third place in the National League Central with 17 games to play 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. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.