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Craig setting example for Cards with his bat

Craig setting example for Cards with his bat

ST. LOUIS -- In most other clubhouses, Allen Craig would be the young guy. But in St. Louis, Craig, 28 years old in his fourth season, is nearly a veteran.

With a dozen players age 26 or younger on the active roster, the Cardinals have the seventh-youngest team in the Majors.

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"That makes guys like myself, and [David] Freese and that group of guys seem a little bit older, because we've been around for a few years now," Craig said. "But we're still young in our careers and still trying to figure it out a little bit."

Craig has become one of the most reliable players in the Cardinals lineup. His 21 RBIs in June are the most he's had in one month in the Majors, with five games still remaining before July.

"I guess I've been seeing the ball pretty well," said Craig, who was unaware of the milestone. "I try to evaluate the game as it's going and see what pitchers are doing. I just try to be smart up there and stay focused and not miss the pitches that I'm given to hit."

Craig has come through in a big way for the Cardinals in clutch situations this season. Entering Sunday's game, the first baseman was batting .348 (32-for-92) and drove home 31 runners with two outs on the board. With runners in scoring position, Craig has driven in 52 runs while hitting .453 (34-for-75).

Most impressively, with both two outs and runners in scoring position, Craig is batting .500 (19-for-38) with 28 RBIs.

"Every guy I feel like in our lineup has that kind of selfish attitude when they're up there. They want to be the guy that drives them in," Craig said. "But we do it in a good way, where we try to pass the baton and just get a base hit and let the next guy have a shot at driving you in. We have a good thing going, and we're just going to keep it going."

Chad Thornburg is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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