ST. LOUIS -- For a club that has had its share of deficiencies with runners in scoring position, utility man Skip Schumaker continues to thrive most in those run-producing situations.
Schumaker's two extra-base hits in the Cardinals' 12-run seventh on Saturday pushed him to 15-for-30 with runners in scoring position this year. Only one player in the Majors has a batter batting average in such spots with at least 30 at-bats. That would be Milwaukee's Jonathan Lucroy.
Asked the secret behind that success, Schumaker shrugged.
"They're falling in," he said. "I can't tell you it's one thing or another. I wish I could pinpoint it, because I would do it every single time."
As a team, the Cardinals are batting .267 with runners in scoring position. And despite all the recent attention paid to the offense's woes, that batting average actually ranks third-best in the National League.
For Schumaker, the production has been rewarded with playing time. Though manager Mike Matheny kept Schumaker out of Sunday's lineup, Schumaker had started eight of the team's previous 10 games. During that span, he hit .407 with six RBIs.
The Cardinals still haven't settled on a permanent second baseman, though Schumaker will continue to earn regular starts as long as the production continues. His ability to move to center field is also an asset, as the club plans to spot Jon Jay periodic days off.
"I come to work to play," Schumaker said. "It doesn't matter if I'm in the lineup or not. I've been through this before. I know how to get ready for a game."