The Cardinals, who for the first time in more than three weeks were about to lose their grip on the second National League wild-card spot, scored perhaps their biggest victory of the season in beating Los Angeles 5-2 in 12 innings Sunday.
They left town with a one-game lead over the Dodgers and the schedule will turn for the Cardinals.
While the Dodgers prepare for a nine-game trip to Washington, Cincinnati and San Diego, the Cardinals will have nine games with the two worst clubs in the National League, playing Houston six times and Chicago three.
After right-hander Adam Wainwright turned in a strong six innings, the Cardinals' bullpen, without right-hander Mitchell Boggs (sore back) and right-hander Edward Mujica (day off), worked six scoreless innings. Rookie right-hander Shelby Miller gained his first big-league win and right-hander Trevor Rosenthal fanned four in two scoreless innings.
Center fielder Jon Jay, perhaps
wearing down, had been 2-for-27 on the trip and 0-for-5 on Sunday, but he
doubled to drive in the winning run. First baseman Allen Craig, who had five RBI
in the last two games, singled to score another run, and a bases-loaded walk
plated the third run of the 12th. The Cardinals finished their
Jay worked his way back from an 0-2 count. "I had a long day," said Jay. "I was just hoping I could make something happen."
Wainwright, who remained at 13-13, said, "That was a big win. If we lost today, you run the risk of guys hanging their heads. I don't think this group would do it, but you still run the risk of it. It was a good win to avoid that.
"We just had to win that game."
RHP Shelby Miller, the
club's top draft pick in 2009, gained his first big-league win Sunday in the
Cardinals' 5-2 win over
RHP Chris Carpenter,
troubled by a nerve condition that affected his right shoulder and required
surgery in July, will make his first appearance - and start - of the season
RHP Lance Lynn, who
gained his 15th win on Thursday in a return to the rotation, earned another
start, to be made Wednesday at home against
RHP Joe Kelly, impressive as a starter in his rookie season, will be moved to the bullpen, at least temporarily as RHP Chris Carpenter returns to the rotation after missing all season with a nerve condition that affected his right shoulder.
RHP Mitchell Boggs, who wasn't available Sunday because of back spasms suffered while pitching on Saturday, isn't expected to be out long, even though he has had the ailment before. "I've dealt with it a little bit in the past and as far as that scale, it's the least," said Boggs.
C Yadier Molina gunned
By the Numbers:
15 - Number of strikeouts by Cardinals hitters on Sunday.
Quote to Note:
"We're not doing the little things. I don't care what kind of offensive team you have. If you're not doing those things, it's going to bite you."
- Manager Mike Matheny, on the Cardinals' failure lately to move runners over, although SS Pete Kozma did get a sacrifice bunt down in the 12th inning Sunday, putting what proved to be the lead run into scoring position.
RHP Jake Westbrook (strained right oblique) will miss a start or two but apparently will be able to pitch again this season.
1B Lance Berkman (sore right knee) underwent additional surgery Sept. 14 and is out for the season. His career might be over as well.
RHP Chris Carpenter (right shoulder surgery) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 26, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 10. He threw for the first time since March on June 13 and then threw another 40 pitches on June 15. He threw to hitters for the first time June 22 but then had a setback June 25 when he felt renewed weakness in the shoulder. He said it felt better the next day, and he had an extensive throwing session off flat ground June 27. On June 28, he was told he has thoracic outlet syndrome, which can cause, among its effects, weakness in one's shoulder. He underwent what was believed to be season-ending surgery July 19 to relieve thoracic outlet syndrome. He is scheduled to come off the disabled list on Friday, September 21.
SS Rafael Furcal (torn ligament in right elbow) was placed on the 15-day disabled list Aug. 31 and is out for the season. He might need Tommy John surgery, but he got a platelet-rich plasma injection on Sept. 4 in the hopes of avoiding having to go under the knife.
RHP Kyle McClellan (torn labrum in right shoulder) went on the 15-day disabled list May 18 due to a strained right elbow, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 30. He threw on flat ground for the first time July 3, but he subsequently felt shoulder pain. He had season-ending shoulder surgery July 10.
Link to boxscore: St. Louis 5 at Los Angeles 2 (12 innings)