Cardinals Creep Back Into N.L. Central Race

Last season, the Chicago Cubs ran away with the National League Central title on their way to winning the World Series. This season, no one is taking command in that division and the race is wide open. Lately, the St. Louis Cardinals have been making a move toward the top of the division.

This week, the Cardinals are playing four interleague games with the Kansas City Royals, two in Kansas City followed by two in St. Louis. The Cardinals won the first two in Kansas City, but the Royals had a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning in the first game in St. Louis. The Cardinals had the bases loaded with two outs when catcher Yadier Molina stepped to the plate to face Royals reliever Peter Moylan. Then, this tense moment in the game was broken up when a cat ran out on the field. After the cat was removed, Molina hit the first pitch into the left field seats for a grand slam home run. The Cardinals went on to win 8-5.

The victory was the fifth in a row and seventh out of 10 games for St. Louis, who pulled into second place tie with Milwaukee, a game and a half behind the Cubs. Both the Brewers and Cubs are 4-6 in their last 10. All three teams have had trouble scoring runs from time to time, as well as bull pen failures. The Pittsburgh Pirates aren’t out of it either and are just 3-1/2 games out now. It may not matter much who wins the division as the best baseball in the National League is being played elsewhere. The Los Angeles Dodgers were an incredible 80-33 in the N.L. West, followed by the two likely Wild Card teams, the Colorado Rockies (65-49) and the Arizona Diamondbacks (64-49). Over in the N.L, East, the Washington Nationals were 67-45. By comparison, the Cubs were 59-54.

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