Though they had long secured at least a wild card spot, winning the division was the goal. The clincher was an 11-1 statement over Pittsburgh in Wednesday’s double header game two. In the process, St. Louis claimed the season series between the two, 10 games to nine and won their 100th game in 159 tries, an MLB-best .629 winning percentage.
A third-inning grand slam off the bat of Jason Heyward helped create a six-run cushion for starter Tyler Lyons, who pitched a gem. The 27-year-old left-hander, making a spot start for injured Carlos Martinez, shut down the Pirates in their park for seven innings. Lyons allowed just four hits, walked none and struck out five.
As the long regular season winds down and with home field advantage secured, the Cardinals can get some rest and focus on getting injured players healthy. With Adam Wainwright having made his return in Wednesday’s game one (one run on two hits in one inning), the next hopeful returnee is catcher Yadier Molina.
St. Louis finishes up the schedule with three games in Atlanta over the weekend. Their first post-season contest will be at home on Friday, October 9 in game one of the NL Division Series. Their opponent will be the winner of Wednesday's wild card game between their division rivals, the Pirates and Cubs.
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