After causing a stir at the All-Star game, the St. Louis Cardinals’ Adam Wainwright is finally ready to get back to business. In his first appearance since the break, Wainwright looks to become baseball’s first 13-game winner in Tuesday night’s series opener against the visiting Tampa Bay Rays. I’m going to be more mindful of the words I use, but for crying out loud, this is ridiculous.” The Cy Young candidate will try to put all that behind him in his first start for the Cardinals (54-45) since a 10-2 win at Milwaukee on July 12. “I think they’re just being real cautious of making sure that I’m going to be prepared … because this is going to be a pretty torrid race through the end of the season,” Wainwright said of the extended rest.

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Post info: By HotStoveCardinals on July 21st, 2014
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It was a long, tempestuous game on a warm summer night that had an October feel to it. Amid multiple hit batters, warnings, arguments and pitching changes, the Los Angeles Dodgers managed to avoid a sweep at the St. Louis Cardinals’ hands Sunday night. First baseman Adrian Gonzalez’s two-out RBI single in the top of the ninth scored pinch runner Miguel Rojas from second with the tiebreaking run, and Los Angeles notched a 4-3 win at sold-out Busch Stadium. The Dodgers (55-45) eased into a tie for first place in the National League West with the San Francisco Giants, 3-2 losers earlier in the day at Miami.

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Clayton Kershaw couldn’t hold a two-run lead in a ballpark that’s been rough on him. The Los Angeles Dodgers won despite a so-so start from their ace lefty, who’d been virtually untouchable for a long stretch entering the All-Star break. Adrian Gonzalez hit a tiebreaking single in the ninth inning off St. Louis Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal one at-bat after Hanley Ramirez was struck on the left hand, and the Dodgers salvaged the finale of a three-game series with a 4-3 victory on Sunday night. ”Your first emotion is to hit a home run and stand at home plate,” Gonzalez said.

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Yasiel Puig was not in the Los Angeles Dodgers lineup, one day after getting hit in the hand by a pitch. Puig was struck on the left hand by a pitch from Joe Kelly in the third inning on Saturday. Matt Kemp pinch-hit for Puig in the eighth inning of the 4-2 loss to the Cardinals. Puig was hitting .308 with 12 homers and 52 RBIs in 92 games.

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ST. LOUIS (AP) — Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday left Saturday’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fifth inning after appearing to get hurt.

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The Cleveland Indians are enjoying a productive weekend in Detroit. After winning the series opener on Friday, the Indians turned right around and impressively swept a day-night doubleheader on Saturday. In the early game, Coby Kluber came up one out short of a complete game, allowing two runs in a 6-2 win . Kluber equaled a career high with 114 pitches and struck out ten for the fifth time this season. More importantly, he importantly saved the Indians’ bullpen ahead of game two. 

”I located my fastball pretty well for the most part, pitched inside enough to keep them honest,” Kluber said. ”I’m not trying to strike guys out. My game plan is to go out there and pound the strike zone. If it happens to get some swing-and-misses, great. If it happens to get some early outs, great.”

In the nightcap, Cleveland waited out starter Max Scherzer, who was dealing with neck cramps but still pitched effectively, and then took advantage of a struggling Joe Nathan, scoring three times in the ninth to win 5-2 . Carlos Santana delivered the big hit, clearing the bases with a two-out double.
With the wins, Cleveland pulls to within 4 1/2 games of Detroit for the AL Central lead. They’re two games behind the Seattle Mariners for the second wild card position.
FOUR-RUN FIRST CARRIES CARDINALS:  Earlier this season Zack Greinke completed a 23-start stretch in which he allowed three runs or fewer in every start. On Saturday afternoon in St. Louis, it only took the Cardinals four batters to score four times. Greinke walked Matt Carpenter leading off and allowed back-to-back singles to Kolten Wong and Matt Holliday. Holliday’s knock scored two run, and then Matt Adams capped the fast break with a towering two-run homer to right field.
That would be all the Cardinals needed behind starter Joe Kelly. Making his second start since coming off the disabled list, Kelly tossed seven innings of one-run ball as St. Louis held on for a big 4-2 victory . 
It was a nice bounce back for Kelly, who struggled in his return start on July 11 in Milwaukee. On that night, he was pulled after allowing six runs in three innings, but the offense covered for him in a 7-6 win. On Saturday, he was on point from the get-go, and manager Mike Matheny had nothing but praise for the outing.

”I thought it was one of his better pitching performances,” Matheny said. ”There were times when I even thought his changeup was a breaking ball. It has so much depth to it. So his secondary pitches were on.”

It’s not often that opposing pitchers get to pitch with a four-run lead against Greinke, but Kelly approached it like a scoreless game. Also notable, the Cardinals have taken the first two games of the weekend series, which is important with Clayton Kershaw staring them down on Sunday.
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JORDY MERCER RAISES THE JOLLY ROGER: The Pittsburgh Pirates stumbled to the break, losing five out of seven on the road to the St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds. They’re getting healthy of the flip side though, coming from behind to win each of their first two against the Colorado Rockies. On Saturday, shortstop Jordy Mercer played the role of hero, doubling home Neil Walker to nail down a 3-2 win in 11 innings . 
Just like Friday, the Rockies held a 2-1 lead in the seventh inning. Pittsburgh pulled even in the eighth inning on Walker’s RBI single, and actually nearly pulled ahead. Carlos Gonzalez cut down Andrew McCutchen at the plate with a fantastic throw from right field to . The game remained tied until the 11th when Walker led off with a double — his third hit — and then Mercer sent the crowd home happy.
ALL NIGHTER IN ANAHEIM PART TWO: The Seattle Mariners and Los Angeles Angels have played like two evenly matched teams over the past two games. On Friday, it took 16 innings for the Angels to grab an edge and a victory. On Saturday, Seattle finally surged ahead in the 12th on RBI hits from Logan Morrison and Justin Smoak, and then held on in the bottom half for a 3-2 win . 
After combining to use 17 pitchers on Friday, both sides had the right man on the hill. All-Star game starter Felix Hernandez went for Seattle and delivered seven innings. He allowed one run (not earned) on two hits with four walks and nine strikeouts. The Angels countered with All-Star snub Garrett Richards, and he was every bit as good, if not better. Richards retired the first 15 batters he faced and ended up going eight innings with one earned run allowed. He fanned seven.
Those efforts helped ease the toll on both bullpens, but the extra frames offset any positive gains. Now, they’ll need similar outings from Sunday starters Chris Young and Tyler Skaggs, while hoping for a quicker result. .
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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Townie813

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Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez was impressed by St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Joe Kelly’s work Saturday. Tying the longest start of his brief major league career, Kelly pitched seven strong innings as St. Louis crawled within a half-game of first place in the National League Central with a 4-2 decision at sold-out Busch Stadium. Kelly (2-1) allowed only four hits, none after shortstop Hanley Ramirez’s RBI infield hit in the third, and a run with one walk and four strikeouts. “I don’t know if my command was that much better this game compared to Milwaukee,” Kelly said.

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After stumbling in his first start following three months on the disabled list, Joe Kelly tinkered with his mechanics. Kelly bounced back with seven strong innings and Matt Adams homered in a four-run first as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-2 Saturday to send All-Star Zack Greinke to losses in consecutive regular-season starts for the first time in nearly four years. Kelly (2-1) gave up four hits over seven innings, retiring his last 13 batters as the Cardinals won for the eighth time in 10 games. Kelly didn’t get a decision on July 11 in his return from a strained left hamstring, when he gave up six runs over three innings during the Cardinals’ 7-6 win at Milwaukee.

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Saturday’s game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals took just over three hours but was essentially decided in minutes. St. Louis’ first four batters in the bottom of the first inning all reached base and scored, providing all the offense it needed to procure a 4-2 win at sold-out Busch Stadium. Starting pitcher Joe Kelly (2-1) made it stand up with seven solid innings of work, allowing just four hits and a run with a walk and four strikeouts. He worked with a cushion most of the day after the Cardinals (54-44) jumped all over Los Angeles starter Zack Greinke.

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ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers have activated infielder Justin Turner from the 15-day disabled list and added another lefty against the St. Louis Cardinals by recalling Paco Rodriguez from Triple-A Albuquerque.

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