ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals reliever Jason Motte is in a groove.
He notched his 17th consecutive scoreless appearance Sunday, pitching a perfect ninth for his first save of the season in the Cardinals' 7-4 win over the Pirates. He has allowed only one hit in that stretch over 14 1/3 innings.
"The arm feels good, everything feels good," Motte said. "I am just trying to throw strikes and get ahead in the count and get them out. That's about it."
Motte has gotten enough outs in the last 17 appearances to lower his ERA to 1.70, which ranks in the top 10 among National League relievers. He hasn't allowed an earned run since June 23.
Motte is still not sure exactly what his current role is in the bullpen.
"Everyone just goes out there every day ready to go," Motte said. "When the phone rings and your name is called, you get up and get loose. That's kind of how we go. For me, I just want to go out there and do whatever I can to help the team. It doesn't matter whether it's the fifth, sixth, seventh, whenever. It doesn't matter to me. Whenever they tell me to get ready, I get going."