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ut to a 7-0 lead, but San Antonio
ST. LOUIS - When rosters expand in September, National League managers dont have to save their backup catchers. The St. Louis Cardinals pinch-ran for Yadier Molina in the ninth inning, allowing Tony Cruz to put his stamp on the race to the post-season. "Just taking it as it comes," Cruz said after getting the winning hit in the 13th inning in the Cardinals 3-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday night that moved St. Louis closer to its second straight NL Central title. "Any way you can contribute is huge." The defending National League champions took two of three in a tight series that featured only 12 runs and another game that lasted 12 innings. The Cardinals lead the division by 2 1/2 games with nine games to go. They will begin their final home series of the season on Friday with the first of three games against Cincinnati. "Its huge," Cruz said. "You dont want to scoreboard-watch but it goes on, especially this time of the year. We know whats at stake." Aramis Ramirez and Scooter Gennett both had an RBI for the Brewers, who are five games back and 3 1/2 out for the second NL wild card. Jonathan Lucroys 45th double as a catcher tied the major league record for the position, set by Ivan Rodriguez in 1996, and was his major league-leading 52nd overall. Cruz singled up the middle with one out for the third hit of the 13th against Jimmy Nelson (2-8), scoring Matt Adams from second. Four straight St. Louis hitters reached against Jonathan Broxton with two outs in the eighth to tie it, resulting in the seventh blown save in Kyle Lohses starts. Jon Jay had an RBI single, and Adams drew his second bases-loaded walk of the series to make it 2-2 after Matt Holliday kept the inning alive with a headfirst dive into first for an infield hit. That call was overturned after the Cardinals asked for a replay review. "I dont think many of us are a big fan of that diving into first base trick," manager Mike Matheny said. "Apparently, it worked." Earlier in the eighth, Brewers first baseman Mark Reynolds thought there were two outs instead of one and didnt try for a double play on pinch hitter A.J. Pierzynskis groundout. He just stepped on the bag instead. "Mistakes like that cant happen, obviously, especially in this point in the season," Reynolds said. "Everyone had their hands on their heads. "It was an easy double-play ball, especially with Pierzynski running." The Brewers left two on in the 10th against Pat Neshek and loaded the bases with two outs in the 11th against Carlos Martinez, who escaped by striking out Carlos Gomez. He then fanned Ryan Braun with a man on second to end the 12th. Sam Freeman (2-0) had two strikeouts in a perfect 13th — the most innings in a Cardinals game. Ramirez had two hits and has two homers and 10 RBIs against St. Louis this year. Shelby Miller retired the first 11 before surrendering three straight two-out hits in the fourth, a rally started by Lucroys double. Miller has allowed two earned runs in 26 innings this month, and St. Louis starters have given up one earned run or fewer in seven straight starts. Brewers starters have a 1.74 ERA in the last eight games. Cardinals leadoff man Matt Carpenter is 1 for 16 against Lohse. TRAINERS ROOM: Cardinals: Matheny feels no urgency to get another look at Justin Masterson, banished to the bullpen with a 7.53 ERA and limited to 1 1-3 innings since Aug. 30. UP NEXT: Brewers: Yovani Gallardo (8-10, 3.59) gets the call in the opener of a three-game series at Pittsburgh. He is 0-4 with a 5.25 ERA in his last five starts. The Brewers are 11-5 against the Pirates this year and 87-41 since 2007. Cardinals: John Lackey makes his first start in nine days after getting skipped for the Milwaukee series. He is 2-2 with a 5.05 ERA for St. Louis and 11-7 with a 3.60 ERA overall. FUNDAMENTALLY SPEAKING: Both teams failed to get a bunt down late. Pinch-hitter Peter Bourjos fouled off two attempts, the last resulting in a strikeout in the ninth. Carlos Gomez fouled out to Cruz in the 10th. Carl Lawson Jersey . Not sure yet. #livetweetingthegreatuntangle — Strombone (@strombone1) April 17, 2014 Stage three, coping: I feel like I could use a cigarette or something. John Ross Bengals Jersey . The Missouri Tigers Defensive End and SEC Defensive player of the year is eligible for the upcoming NFL draft in May. . -- Kenneth Faried made a turnaround hook shot over Draymond Green with a half-second remaining, and the Denver Nuggets made Golden State wait at least one more game to secure a playoff berth with a stunning 100-99 win over the Warriors on Thursday night. Jordan Willis Bengals Jersey . In taking its goal tally to 99 in all competitions already this season, City delivered another demonstration of its lethal firepower at Etihad Stadium to set up a fourth-round match at home to another second-tier team -- Watford. Joe Mixon Youth Jersey . -- C.J. Wilson parked his car and laughed while signing autographs for faceless fans who handed bats, balls and cards to the pitcher from the other side of a brick wall.Charlotte, NC ( - Manu Ginobili scored 27 points, including two key baskets that stopped a late Charlotte rally, and the San Antonio Spurs defeated the Charlotte Hornets 98-93 on Wednesday. After a pair of Kemba Walker free throws brought Charlotte within a point late in the fourth quarter, Ginobilis bank shot and 3-pointer on back-to-back possessions restored San Antonios comfortable lead as the Spurs won for the third time in four games. Back-to-backs are always very satisfying wins, said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. Weve had an opportunity to win some other games, and weve blown them. Tonight, we came through. San Antonio got 18 points from Danny Green and Tim Duncan chipped in 14 points and 10 rebounds in the victory. Despite 28 points from Walker, Charlotte saw its five-game winning streak come to an end. Bismack Biyombo recorded his second-straight double-double with 12 points, 15 boards and five blocks. Gerald Henderson and P.J. Hairston each added 11 points. Against a team like that, you cant have a stretch of five minutes with no defense, said Hornets coach Steve Clifford. Youre not going to win. Greens triple a minute into the final period extended San Antonios edge to 81-70, but a 15-5 Charlotte run put that lead in jeopardy. Lance Stephenson scored five points, and Hairston hit a pair of 3s before Walkers free throws trimmed the Hornets deficit to one. While Ginobili responded to extend San Antonios lead again, Charlotte went cold to end its chance of a comeback. They went nearly three minutes before Biyombo hit a free throw to snap the Hornets scorring drought, and they went nearly five minutes between shots from the field.dddddddddddd Walkers layup with 15 seconds left ended that drought and 11 seconds later, he hit a 3-pointer to again inch closer to the Spurs. However, each time San Antonio responded with a pair of free throws to hold off the Hornets. The Hornets jumped out to a 7-0 lead, but San Antonio responded with a 17-4 run to go up 17-11 with three minutes to go in the first quarter. San Antonio led 22-18 after one quarter when Stephensons jumper with 32 seconds left cut into the Spurs lead. Stephenson missed the previous 14 games with a pelvic strain. In the second quarter, San Antonio used great ball movement and shooting to increase its lead. Matt Bonner and Green each hit a pair of 3s as the Spurs went 5-of-6 from long distance during the quarter to take a 57-45 lead into the break on Ginobilis buzzer-beating triple. The Hornets limited San Antonio to 26.9 percent shooting in the third quarter, while hitting 9-of-15 shots themselves. Charlotte cut its deficit down to six points twice, but the Spurs did just enough to maintain their steady edge. Walkers bucket with 22 seconds to go trimmed San Antonios lead to 76-68 at the end of the third. Game Notes San Antonio has won eight straight against Charlotte ... Walker scored 25-or- more points for the sixth straight game ... With the win, Duncan and Tony Parker tied Robert Parish and Kevin McHale for second place in wins achieved as teammates with 656, all with the Spurs ... The season series will conclude on Jan. 28 in San Antonio. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '

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