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Another gutty win for Cardinals

BaseballSt. Louis CardinalsLance LynnMichael WachaKolten Wong Major League BaseballPete Kozma

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MLB Team Report - St. Louis Cardinals - INSIDE PITCH

ST. LOUIS -- Manager Mike Matheny has portrayed his third St. Louis squad as a team of grinders. Others have opted for a more cynical approach, pointing at an inconsistent offense for their surprising struggles in the National League Central.

Matheny's side of the story gained traction Sunday as his team authored an improbable rally from a 5-0 deficit, eventually subduing the Chicago Cubs 9-6 to forge a tie for first in the Central with struggling Milwaukee.

"Every one of these guys is banged up," he said of the Cardinals. "But that's part of the satisfaction of battling through something like this. It was a great day ... it was fun to watch."

St. Louis scored in four of the last five innings, getting RBIs from five different players and surprising contributions from a couple of guys in the eighth. Pete Kozma, who replaced Kolten Wong after the second baseman left with an undisclosed injury, delivered a leadoff double.

Daniel Descalso, getting perhaps the first start of his career at first base for the slumping Matt Adams, reached on a two-strike bunt that he somehow beat out.

"We've seen those guys do this before in October," said Matheny, referring to their dramatic ninth-inning hits that eliminated Washington in the 2012 NLDS. "They're just real calm."

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MLB Team Report - St. Louis Cardinals - NOTES, QUOTES

RECORD: 73-63

STREAK: Won two

NEXT: Pirates (RHP Gerrit Cole, 7-4, 3.65 ERA) at Cardinals (RHP Lance Lynn, 14-8, 2.79 ERA)

PLAYER NOTES:

--RHP John Lackey put the team in a 5-0 second-inning hole, but righted the ship with scoreless work after that. He worked 6 1/3 innings, the eighth time in nine starts he's gotten through six, and gave up only two earned runs on nine hits with a walk and six strikeouts. His throwing error in the second led to three unearned runs.

--RHP Lance Lynn gets the call Monday when St. Louis starts a big three-game series in Busch Stadium against surging Pittsburgh. Lynn was no-decisioned Tuesday at the Pirates' PNC Park, scattering six hits over six innings and allowing a pair of runs. If Lynn wins, he'll join Detroit's Max Scherzer as the only pitchers with 15 wins in each of the last three seasons. Lynn is 5-3, 4.73 in his career against Pittsburgh.

--RHP Michael Wacha (stress reaction in shoulder) made his first rehab appearance Sunday night for Double-A Springfield at Tulsa, with occasional battery-mate Tony Cruz catching him. Wacha is scheduled to throw between 35 and 40 pitches in his first live outing since a June 17 win over the New York Mets. He'll probably get another rehab start Friday for Triple-A Memphis, which qualified for the Pacific Coast League playoffs Saturday night.

--RHP Jason Motte (lower back tightness) will pitch Sunday night for Springfield in his first rehab stint since going on the DL Aug. 2. Motte completed three bullpen sessions this week, advancing to a 30-35 pitch limit on Friday. He'll probably work a rehab game or two in Memphis next week before coming up to St. Louis to help with the playoff push.

--LHPs Marco Gonzales, Tyler Lyons and Nick Greenwood were all optioned to Springfield on Sunday, moves that are strictly procedural. The trio is expected to be recalled Tuesday after the Texas League season ends Monday. Gonzales earned his first MLB win Saturday night in the nightcap of a day-night doubleheader against the Cubs, while Lyons fanned eight in 4 2/3 scoreless innings of relief in the opener.

--2B Kolten Wong left Sunday's game in the top of the eighth inning after falling on his neck and the back of his head while trying to catch Chris Valaika's bloop single into right-center. Manager Mike Matheny said after the game that Wong passed concussion tests, but it's not known if he'll be able to play Monday against Pittsburgh.

--LHP Kevin Siegrist was called up from Triple-A Memphis. In six games with Memphis, Siegrist allowed one run and three hits while striking out 11 in 6 2/3 innings.

--SS Pete Kozma was called up from Triple-A Memphis. Kozma opened the season with the Cardinals and accrued three at-bats before returning to Memphis. He hit .248 with eight homers and 54 RBIs in 117 Triple-A games.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We needed this win. We couldn't afford to lose three of four." -- LF Matt Holliday, after the Cardinals rallied to defeat the Cubs Sunday.

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MLB Team Report - St. Louis Cardinals - ROSTER REPORT

MEDICAL WATCH:

--2B Kolten Wong (concussion, neck) left the Aug. 31 game. Manager Mike Matheny said after the game that Wong passed concussion tests, but it's not known if he'll be able to play Sept. 1.

--RHP Jason Motte (lower back sprain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Aug. 1. He made 15 throws from 90 feet on Aug. 19, the first time he threw since going on the DL. He was expected to pitch Aug. 31 in his first rehab stint. He'll probably work a rehab game or two in Memphis the first week of September before coming up to St. Louis to help with the playoff push.

--RHP Michael Wacha (stress reaction in scapula) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 18, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on July 30. He threw off flat ground for the first time Aug. 5. Wacha pitched his second bullpen session Aug. 18. Wacha threw a simulated game Aug. 27. He made his first rehab appearance Aug. 31 for Double-A Springfield at Tulsa. He'll probably get another rehab start Sept. 5 for Triple-A Memphis, which qualified for the Pacific Coast League playoffs Saturday night.

--OF Shane Robinson (left shoulder subluxation) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Aug. 25. He underwent season-ending surgery on Aug. 28.

--2B Mark Ellis (strained left oblique) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Aug. 15.

--LHP Jaime Garcia (sore left shoulder) went on the 15-day disabled list on June 21, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on July 11. Garcia missed most of last year with a torn rotator cuff, and this injury is said to be related. He had season-ending surgery July 11.

ROTATION:

RHP Adam Wainwright

RHP Justin Masterson

RHP Lance Lynn

RHP Shelby Miller

RHP John Lackey

BULLPEN:

RHP Trevor Rosenthal (closer)

LHP Randy Choate

RHP Seth Maness

RHP Pat Neshek

LHP Sam Freeman

RHP Carlos Martinez

LHP Kevin Siegrist

CATCHERS:

A.J. Pierzynski

Yadier Molina

INFIELDERS:

1B Matt Adams

2B Kolten Wong

SS Jhonny Peralta

3B Matt Carpenter

INF Daniel Descalso

SS Pete Kozma

OUTFIELDERS:

LF Matt Holliday

CF Jon Jay

RF Oscar Taveras

OF Peter Bourjos

OF Randal Grichuk

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