Matt Carpenter and Stephen Piscotty hit two-run homers for the National League’s leading home run team and Carlos Martinez (14-7) pitched seven strong innings in a 4-3 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers. Seung-Hwan Oh worked around a leadoff walk in the ninth for his 17th save in 20 chances.
The win improved the Cardinals to 31-38 at Busch Stadium and kept them a half-game behind the New York Mets for the NL’s second wild card.
The Royals lost for the sixth time in nine games and remained four games out of the second AL wild card, after Carlos Rodon struck out a season-high nine over six innings, and the White Sox beat the Royals 7-2. Detroit beat Baltimore to pull even with the Orioles for the final postseason berth.
Lorenzo Cain started for the first time since Aug. 30 following a wrist injury and reached base three times with a single and two walks despite pain when he squeezes the bat.
The Cardinals, Mets and Giants all have lesser opponents this weekend as the Cards continue with Milwaukee. New York is playing last place Atlanta in the East and San Francisco is taking on near last place Arizona in the West. The Cardinals are scoring almost exclusively (or so it seems) on the long ball. Warm weather will continue into September and if St. Louis advances into postseason, they must hope the mild weather continues. If October turns chilly, the ball goes dead and hitting homers becomes a little more difficult. For now, ride the wave of power and hope in continues into late September.
The Cardinals certainly control their own destiny. They’ve played the Cubs well and meet up six more times. They also travel to San Francisco, hitter-friendly Colorado and Wrigley Field and then finish at home against Cincy and fading Pittsburgh.
For Royals fans, I hate to break it to you, but there will be no postseason. Their best shot to get back to October baseball, according to MLB projections was as high as a 1-in-3 chance back in early June. Since then, the numbers have suggested they had a big hill to climb and with a four-game deficit in the Wild Card, it’s just too much. While there are still three weeks to go in the season, four games in not insurmountable, but the issue is needing to climb over so many other teams.
If this were a two team race, it is quite conceivable that one team could get hot while the other stumbles, but for the Royals to grab a playoff position, they need Baltimore, Detroit, New York, Houston and Seattle to all stumble.