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Matheny confident bats will grind out of funk

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ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals' offense finds itself in the midst of a streak it is desperately trying to escape.

There has been frustration, followed by meetings and batting practice in hopes of turning around a recent stretch of stagnant offense that hadn't scored in 20 straight innings entering Tuesday.

"You see a lot of guys hitting balls hard and right at people," second baseman Kolten Wong said. "It's just going to take a little time for us to get things going. Once it happens, baseball is that thing where if one guy hits, everybody hits. We have the talent in this clubhouse to do some special things."

The Cardinals were shut out for the second consecutive game Monday and have scored only two runs on 11 hits over the past three games. Aside from a four-run eighth inning in a 9-4 loss Friday, the Cardinals would be coming off three shutouts in four games.

During that four-game span, the Cardinals have been outscored 23-6.

"I'd still take our offense against anybody when they're locked in," manager Mike Matheny said. "We've just got to find ways to grind through and work through a time when they're not coming as easily as we'd like."

The lackluster offense has pushed the Cardinals five games back in the National League Central behind first-place Milwaukee. St. Louis was 1 1/2 games back eight days ago.

The Cardinals also have dropped to 30-28 in losing six of eight games on the homestand, the closest they have been to .500 since mid-May.

"It's funny because if you bring in somebody from the outside and have them sit through this, you'd think we're in absolute last place in all of baseball," Matheny said. "It baffles me, but also I get it because with great expectation, that's where we are.

"I think it's one of those things that will make us better in the end, because we're still going to get going. Right now it's just not clicking, but it's going to."

Alex Halsted 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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