St. Louis Cardinals back on winning track
Matt Carpenter homers, drives Cardinals to victory
The St. Louis Cardinals know how to play close games, and Thursday’s contest went in their favor.
After Cleveland Indians pitcher Corey Kluber knocked the Cardinals down with 18 strikeouts the day before, St. Louis staged an eighth-inning rally for a 2-1 win on Thursday to take the series victory at Progressive Field.
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Cleveland pitcher Trevor Bauer picked up where Kluber left off, as he fanned 10 batters over seven innings of work, but like St. Louis pitcher Michael Wacha he came away empty-handed.
Pitcher Marc Rzepczynski blew the save in the eighth inning and enabled Cardinals reliever Trevor Siegrist to improve to 2-0 overall.
Wacha lasted just five innings but struck out seven batters. His only blemish came on a home run by Michael Brantley in the sixth inning.
The Cardinals rallied in the eighth on a two-run homer by Matt Carpenter, which came with Peter Bourjos on base.
Trevor Rosenthal picked up his 12th save.
Mark Reynolds, Kolten Wong and Yadier Molina all had two hits for the Cardinals, which improved to 24-10 overall. They are five games ahead of the Chicago Cubs, which held off the New York Mets 6-5 in an afternoon game at the ballpark formerly known as Wrigley Field.
All kidding aside, it looks like it’s going to be a spirited battle for the top spot in the National League Central all season. But the St. Louis Cardinals can’t step off the gas right now.
The Cardinals have a three-game series with the Detroit Tigers beginning Friday at Busch Stadium. This includes a nationally-televised contest on ESPN Sunday evening.
Tigers pitcher Shane Greene (3-2, 4.71 ERA) takes the hill for Detroit, while St. Louis counters with Carlos Martinez (3-1, 4.89).