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The St. Louis Cardinals are so good they can even turn an extra-inning game into a blowout.
Sunday night, in the rubber game between two of the top teams in the NL Central, the Cardinals and the Cincinnati Reds went into the 10th inning tied at four. Only it didn't stay tied for long. The Cardinals scored seven runs in the 10th, going ahead 5-4 on a Daniel Descalso double, scoring two more on a Matt Carpenter single and finally just rubbing it in with grand slam by Matt Holliday (above). Final score: 11-4, Cards.
''We haven't had to come back much this year,'' Descalso said. ''Most of these guys have been around when we've had to come back. I don't hit many that far, that way. I was just hoping I got enough of it.''
Nice humble-brag, Descalso — but he's right, the Cardinals haven't played too much from behind, nor have they played a lot in extra innings. This was St. Louis' first extra-inning win of the season.
The Cards improved to 41-22 with the win, the only team in the league with 40 wins. They're an impressive 22-10 on the road, which is more wins than the Miami Marlins have overall. Speaking of the fish ...
Only 10 innings this time: The Marlins and the Mets went into extra innings again, but after Saturday's 20-inning game, they got some relief. This one only went 10, with the Marlins pulling a Cardinal-like move and putting up four runs in the 10th. The Marlins went ahead on Daniel Murphy's error — on a ball hit by Saturday's hero, Adeiny Hechavarria — then the Marlins piled on, including a two-run homer from Miguel Olivo.
After the game, the Mets sent Ike Davis, Robert Carson and Mike Baxter to Triple-A, reeling from two straight sweeps by the Marlins.
The Nats takes two from the Twins: The Washington Nationals got back to .500 with a pair of wins Sunday against the Twins. In Game 1, the Nats (31-31) blanked Minnesota, 7-0, but Game 2 was closer, 5-4. Jordan Zimmermann was nasty in the first game, striking out eight and improving to 9-3, which ties him for the most wins in baseball. Ian Desmond had four hits total in the two games, including what would eventually be the game-winning double of Game 2.
Rockies 8, Padres 7: The Rockies win in 10 innings on a Dexter Fowler walk-off single, fitting because two of the three previous games in this series were decided by one run. The other? Two runs.
Rangers 6, Blue Jays 4: Down four early, the Rangers score six straight, including homers from Adrian Beltre and David Murphy.
Tigers 4, Indians 1: In his major league debut, Jose Alvarez tossed six innings of three-hit ball for the Tigers. Don't get too excited, Tigers fans, he was sent back down to the minors after the game. Just a one-day sub for Anibal Sanchez. But, like Ice Cube, it was a good day.
Orioles 10, Rays 7: The Orioles abuse Matt Moore, who was 8-0 at one point for the Rays. He gives up nine runs on 12 hits in five innings. He's 8-2 now.
Brewers 9, Phillies 1: Kyle Lohse gets his first win since April 22, going eight innings, giving up four hits and striking out six.
Royals 2, Astros 0: The Royals have won five in a row. Sure, three were against the Astros, but let's stay focused on the positive here.
White Sox 4, A's 2: Alex Rios and Tyler Flowers homer for the Sox, who split their series 2-2 with the A's.
Cubs 4, Pirates 1: Cody Ransom hits a three-run, seventh-inning home run to push the Cubs to victory.
Giants 6, D-backs 2: Chad Gaudin, usually a long reliever, is strong for the Giants in his second straight start, replacing injured Ryan Vogelsong.
''It's tough to sit through 30 innings and score not even a handful of runs. So it's been frustrating for everybody. I'm sure it was frustrating for our fans, too.'' — Mets general manager Sandy Alderson.
Carlos Gonzalez plays potential home-run thief, stealing one from Kyle Blanks.
• Yasiel Puig had his fifth multi-hit game Sunday. He's the only Dodger since 1916 to have five multi-hit games in his first seven big-league games. (via True Blue L.A.)
• David Freese of the Cardinals extended his hitting streak to 19 games, which is the longest active streak in baseball and ties Marco Scutaro for the longest of the season.
• In his last two starts, Matt Moore's ERA ballooned from 2.18 to 3.78. (via Can't Predict Baseball).
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- Daniel Descalso
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- Cincinnati Reds