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In a perplexing seventh-inning sequence during Wednesday's 3-0 loss to the Rays, Jon Jay took both ball four and strike three in the same plate appearance.
The Cardinals begin a three-game weekend series with Joe Kelly taking the mound against the Chicago Cubs and Travis Wood on Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field.
The Rays finished off a two-game sweep of St. Louis with a 3-0 win at Busch Stadium on Wednesday night, leaving the Cardinals with a losing home stay and even with the Pirates in the division's second spot.
Shelby Miller's brief transfer to the bullpen has concluded, as the Cardinals announced on Wednesday that Miller will return to the rotation on Saturday to face the Cubs. Concurrent with Miller's transition back to starting, Carlos Martinez will shift to the bullpen, where he is immediately ready for use.
To make room for Kevin Siegrist's activation from the disabled list, the Cardinals optioned Nick Greenwood to Triple-A Memphis, where the lefty will pitch out of the bullpen but also remain stretched out in case the club has a later need for a long reliever.
The Cardinals netted an extra pick in the 2015 First-Year Player Draft through Wednesday's Competitive Balance Lottery, which was introduced in the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement as a way to give small-market and low-revenue teams the chance to earn one of 12 extra picks.
En route to a 7-2 victory in front of 43,623 fans at Busch Stadium, the Rays chased Wainwright during a five-run fifth in which Tampa Bay tallied only two hits. Wainwright provided the rest of the assistance, committing a fielding error, walking three and hitting one in his first outing since starting the All-Star Game.
A challenge not won by Cardinals manager Mike Matheny worked in the Cards' favor on Tuesday night, when Matt Holliday followed a contested foul ball in the sixth inning with a 424-foot solo homer to pull the Cardinals to within four runs of the Rays.
Rays manager Joe Maddon's night came to an end quickly Tuesday, when he was ejected during the third inning of the Rays' 7-2 win over the Cardinals in unique fashion.
If Tony La Russa ever had a motto, it's "no guts, no glory," which describes his managing career in a nutshell. They are words to live by and an apt inscription for his Hall of Fame plaque.
With the non-waiver Trade Deadline nine days away, the Cardinals continue to zero in on starting pitchers who could potentially help fortify the rotation for a postseason push. However, general manager John Mozeliak cautioned on Tuesday that no deal is imminent.
With approval from the medical staff after they read the results of Monday's MRI exam, Michael Wacha plans to increase his strength exercises over the next two weeks with the hope that he'll then be cleared to begin a throwing program.
While the Cardinals won't make the final decision until Wednesday, general manager John Mozeliak said it's "a real possibility" that left-hander Kevin Siegrist will be activated from the 15-day disabled list prior to the Cardinals' series finale against the Rays.
For the second straight season, Matt Carpenter has been named the Cardinals' winner of the Heart and Hustle Award, presented annually by the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association to honor players "who demonstrate a passion for the game of baseball and best embody the values, spirit and tradition of the game."
Much of general manager John Mozeliak's work last offseason was done with an eye on defense, and while a final grade can't be handed out 99 games into the 2014 season, the Cardinals have already distinguished themselves among the most defensively improved teams in the Majors.
Though he's only made two starts this month, Cardinals outfielder Peter Bourjos has quietly been piecing together his best stretch of the season.
Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez had to leave Sunday night's game at Busch Stadium in the ninth inning after being hit by a Trevor Rosenthal pitch on the left hand.
Trevor Rosenthal allowed a two-out, RBI single to the Dodgers' Adrian Gonzalez in the ninth inning Sunday night to deal the Cardinals a 4-3 loss. Peter Bourjos hit a two-run homer off of Clayton Kershaw.
Following Sunday night's 4-3 loss to the Dodgers, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny confirmed that the club will start Adam Wainwright and Lance Lynn, in that order, during the team's upcoming series against the Rays.
The Arizona Fall League announced on Sunday that it will induct Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday into its Hall of Fame during a ceremony in November. Joining Holliday in the 2014 induction class is Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford.
Tests for a possible concussion came back negative on Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday, who exited Saturday's 4-2 win in the fifth inning, four innings after he collided with Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez while scampering back to second base. Holliday is day to day.
The Cardinals positioned themselves for a possible sweep of the Dodgers and a move into first place with Saturday's 4-2 win in which they scored all of their runs within a four-batter sequence to open the game against Zack Greinke. The victory was anchored by Joe Kelly, who earned his first win since coming back from a hamstring injury.
The four-day All-Star break came at an opportune time for Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong, who said the time away from the field gave his left shoulder additional opportunity to heal.
In the course of contributing to every run the Cardinals scored in a 3-2 win over the Dodgers on Friday, Matt Holliday pushed a pair of career offensive totals to notable round numbers.
With the flexibility to reset their rotation after the All-Star break, the Cardinals will give ace Adam Wainwright an extended period of rest and move Shelby Miller to the bullpen for an undetermined period while employing a four-man rotation.
Back from his All-Star stay in Minneapolis, Adam Wainwright conceded on Friday that the uproar created after he described a pitch to Derek Jeter as a "pipe shot" did mar the overall experience.
The signing deadline for players taken in this summer's First-Year Player Draft came and went with little fanfare for the Cardinals late Friday afternoon, but only because the organization had wrapped up the bulk of its work last month.
Behind Matt Holliday's power and Lance Lynn's power arm, the Cardinals, playing in front of 45,010 at Busch Stadium, returned to play with a 3-2 victory Friday night over the Dodgers, who entered the night with a National League-leading 54 wins.
Even with the setbacks and questions the first half brought, St. Louis still has the makeup to provide answers for another postseason run.
The tenor of the Cardinals' first half changed dramatically in its final days, as the club's closing speed, coupled with a Milwaukee collapse, erased almost all of the division lead that the Brewers had spent three months building. Down 6 1/2 games at the start of July, the Cards begin the second half trailing by just one.
News provided by stlcardinals.com

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