Descalso is stepping up of late

Descalso is stepping up of late

ST. LOUIS -- The starts have been scarce and until recently, so had been the timely production. But Daniel Descalso has quietly put together a strong stretch this month, providing production similar to what he has late in the season the last few years.

In each of the Cardinals' pair of one-run wins over the Reds on Monday and Tuesday, Descalso delivered a game-tying, pinch-hit double to spark a come-from-behind victory. His double in Tuesday's 5-4 win was his fifth off the bench this season, tying him with Matt Carpenter (2012), Roger Freed (1978), Willie McGee (1997) and Gerald Perry (1994) for the most by a Cardinals pinch-hitter since 1974.

"Pinch-hitting is not easy by any means. He came up and did a good job like he's been doing the last couple weeks," teammate Jon Jay said. "He works his tail off. He's a winning player. He's a gamer. For him to get results like that, it's great to see."

Descalso is 8-for-36 as a pinch-hitter this season but has reached base in five of his last 12 pinch-hit appearances. In addition, he went 5-for-8 in the two starts he has made this month. It has helped him bump up his average to a season-high .212.

"I'm just trying to go up there and have a good at-bat," said Descalso, who before Tuesday had been 0-for-16 with runners in scoring position and two outs. "All I can do is try to put it in play in that spot. Don't worry about what else is going on. Just go up there and try to get a good pitch to hit."

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for 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.