There’s no stopping the St. Louis Cardinals. But don’t tell them that.
The major league leaders will try to win their fourth straight game as they complete a rare five-game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Cardinals are a season-high 39 games above .500 and became the first team to reach 80 wins Friday. St. Louis has won 14 of its last 18, and clinched its eighth straight series win. The Cardinals are an amazing 58-20 since May 27.
With 1 1/2 months to go in the regular season, fans are already talking about St. Louis’ magic number—26. But the Cardinals aren’t.
“The reason those kinds of things happen is nobody in here pays attention to stats like that,” said catcher Mike Matheny, one of three Cardinals to homer, along with Scott Rolen and Albert Pujols, in Saturday’s 10-6 win.
“We’ve done a good job of not patting ourselves on the back,” manager Tony La Russa added.
Rolen has homered in the last two games for St. Louis, which has opened up a 14 1/2 -game lead over the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central.
“In order to compete with the Cardinals, you have to pitch well. And tonight, we didn’t pitch well,” Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon said.
Craig Wilson continues to be a bright spot for the Pirates, who have dropped four of their last five games after a four-game winning streak.
Wilson hit his 23rd homer of the season Saturday, and has hit five in his last 13 games.