The St. Louis Cardinals have won their first two of a three game series to tie the Milwaukee Brewers for first place in the National League Central.
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With Yadier Molina out for an extended amount of time, the Cardinals rebounded following a dismal showing on Thursday against the Pittsburgh Pirates. But for all the talk about the offense of late, the Cardinals have silenced their critics after taking 3 of 4 from the Pirates and the first two games against the Brewers.
It took a late inning rally in Joe Kelly‘s return to the Cardinals rotation but the Cardinals pulled off the 7-6 victory, including home runs from Matt Adams, Kolten Wong, Jhonny Peralta, and Matt Holliday. It was Holliday’s home run in the ninth inning that sealed the deal. The home run from Holliday was his first home run in nearly a month but it was also the first game this season in which the Cardinals hit four long balls.
Holliday and Peralta had three hits a piece on the night.
“Nothing even comes close to this,” said Cardinals manager Mike Matheny according to MLB.com. “Just the heart the guys showed. Just to be able to keep coming and coming, the intensity and the grit and the fight, that to me is something you don’t have every once in a while. You have it or you don’t. Just really impressed, couldn’t be any more proud.”
Since coming off the DL, Wong has hit five home runs, including another one in Saturday’s 10-2 crushing.
Starting for the Cardinals, Adam Wainwright pitched seven innings, allowing two runs on five hits to record his 12th win this season. The Cardinals ace struck out 4 batters and now posts a 1.83 ERA.
The win on Saturday put the Cards in a tie for first in the division.
“This is a funny game of ups and downs,” All-Star pitcher Adam Wainwright said according to MLB.com. “The teams that have the most ups and the least amount of downs end up winning the whole thing. Inevitably, you’re going to have both.”
“When he sets to swing, you don’t see a lot of half swings. When he decides to the pull the trigger, he pulls it,” Matheny said of Wong according to MLB.com. “The bat speed is what will result in the ball jumping out of the park, not necessarily lifting it.”
Outfielder Mike O’Neill was designated for assignment. With Audry Perez being optioned to Memphis, this was probably to make room for catcher George Kottaras. O’Neill has split time between Memphis and Springfield this season.
It’s “part of the business” as Springfield manager Mike Shildt put it according to Kary Booher of the Springfield News-Leader.