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Cards not concerned with high double-play totals

ST. LOUIS -- After hitting into another two double plays on Thursday, the Cardinals' twin-killing total is on the rise again after dipping last season.

The club has already grounded into 38 double plays, putting the Cardinals on pace to hit into 154 this season. That would be only two fewer than the Major League high last season, set by the Tigers.

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The Cardinals' susceptibility to ground in double plays was scrutinized at length in 2011, when they hit into 169 of them. That number dropped to 135 last season, though still good for eighth-most in the Majors. The team's current total of 38 is third-worst in the National League. Ten of those double plays have come off the bat of Matt Holliday.

The overall number, though, is not drawing much attention in the Cardinals' clubhouse.

"I don't think we've hit into as many double plays this year as we did in the past," Allen Craig said. "Sometimes you hit it hard and it goes right at them."

Of course, with one of the league's best on-base percentages (.328), the Cardinals also find themselves with more opportunities to ground into double plays than most other NL clubs. The Cardinals' overall proficiency with runners in scoring position -- a team .327 average heading into Friday's game -- has also masked many of the other rallies that were thwarted by double plays.

"We just want guys taking good hard at-bats," manager Mike Matheny said. "And if they hit it hard at somebody, you have to tip your hat. Especially when you have first and second, they're looking to drive the ball hard up the middle. You get it a little too far to the left or the right, it's right at somebody. I think that's been the case more than anything else."

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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