Cardinals hold on for win, push wild-card battle to final day

Jedd Gyorko’s eighth inning home run means St Louis go into Sunday’s action one game behind San Francisco in the chase for the second National League wild card. The Pirates have had a ton of players hurt this season and some of the lineups they used in recent weeks were reminiscent of spring training B games at Pirate City. Gyorko made it all pay off by hitting a 100 miles per hour fastball from reliever Felipe Rivero over the right-field wall in the eighth inning.

First baseman Matt Adams, who hit 16 homers and was the club’s most productive pinch hitter in a record-setting season by the Cardinals’ benchmen, said, “I’ve kind of been spoiled because every year I’ve been up we’ve been in the playoffs”.

When Carpenter batted in the sixth, the Cardinals trailed by a run. The Cardinals are not planning to pick up their $17 million option on his contract for 2017.

Cardinals Seung Hwan Oh would earn his 19 save but not before allowing the Pirates two hits.

Now, the sum of their efforts, from February 18 to now, boils down to Sunday’s nine innings (or however many it takes) and the nine innings played in San Francisco between the Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Giants meet the New York Mets Wednesday in New York in a one-game playoff, with the victor advancing to the National League Division Series against the Chicago Cubs.

Since the only way for the Pirates to end this season on a worse note would be for them to help the Cardinals get into the playoffs, the Bucs lost 4-3 Saturday.

Michael Wacha started for the Cardinals and pitched all of one inning. The Giants later hosted the Los Angeles Dodgers. Game 2 is the following day, before the best-of-five NLDS shifts to L.A. Starting with the Cardinals’ improbable World Series victory in 2011 through the first four years of Matheny’s tenure, the Cardinals have always played at least as far as the National League division series.

Oh struck out fellow Korean Kang Jung-ho, who had homered earlier in the game, to open the top of the ninth. T.J. Rivera, Jose Reyes and Asdrubal Cabrera each had an RBI single. He was picked to start Saturday’s game against the Pirates instead of struggling LHP Jaime Garcia. Stephen Piscotty singled in Molina to break a 4-4 tie in the eighth.

With the loss, Boston fell one-half game behind Cleveland in the race for home-field advantage when their ALDS series begins on Thursday. He threw a combined 165 innings between the minors and the majors and didn’t give up more than three runs in five September starts.

He even swore not to keep checking the Giants score for hope, though his eyes wandered in between innings. What had started as Matt Holliday hopes to be back for the playoffs had become Matt Holliday wants to say goodbye. Price later said umpire crew chief Bill Miller told him that teams have 10 seconds to appeal on a game-ending play, and that the complaint wasn’t made in time. Pirates right-hander Ryan Vogelsong permitted five hits and a run in five innings, walking three and whiffing one.

The Tigers will have ace Justin Verlander on the mound Sunday. But he’s maximized those 397 opportunities to belt a career-high 30 homers, and slug a career-best.494 while playing all four infield stations during the season.

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