Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Birds Fly out of Town with a Bang; Cardinals 12, Mariners 2; 19-Hit Attack Buries Seattle, Keeps Them Tied for First

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Birds Fly out of Town with a Bang; Cardinals 12, Mariners 2; 19-Hit Attack Buries Seattle, Keeps Them Tied for First

Article excerpt

The Cardinals' offense, the one that amassed nine hits over the first six innings of games in a recent five-game span, was not the one they would want to take into a four-day series at the hitters' paradise of Coors Field in Denver. And now they won't have to.

In the go-figure department, the Cardinals had 11 hits in the fourth and fifth innings alone on Sunday as they rolled up a total of 19 hits to thrash Seattle 12-2 at Busch Stadium.

After flailing, futilely, for the most part, at starting pitchers they had not seen from Milwaukee and Seattle, the Cardinals ran up 14 hits in the first five innings Sunday against three pitchers they hadn't faced, including starter Erasmo Ramirez.

"It was great timing," said Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, "to send (them) on the road with some good feelings about their swings."

Matheny said he worried about some of his young pitchers, such as Joe Kelly and Michael Wacha, working at Coors for the first time but he was counting on his veteran pitchers to advise the less experienced ones on the value of putting a bad pitch or play behind them and moving onto the next one.

But Matheny added, "I know our offense will be excited about getting up there."

Despite their hard-to-fathom attack early in the week, the Cardinals wrapped up a 7-2 homestand, fulfilling their desire to win every series, which they did from Pittsburgh (3-0), Milwaukee (2-1) and Seattle (2-1). They left for Colorado still tied with Pittsburgh for the National League Central Division at 25 games over .500 with four series remaining.

Of the 19 hits, four were collected by Yadier Molina, including his 12th homer. Matheny before the game said he wasn't worried about Molina, who had been 0 for 15, because the All-Star catcher had been hitting the ball hard.

Matheny was correct. Molina hit five balls hard, the last one for an out, besides throwing out persistent Dustin Ackley, who tried unsuccessfully to steal for the second time in the series.

"Yadi's had a special kind of offensive year," said Matheny of the one-time NL batting leader this season, "and I'd love to see him finish the way he started."

Molina's average had dipped to .312, his lowest since April 30.

First baseman Matt Adams had his 14th home run, a majestic poke into the center-field greenery and his fifth since Allen Craig went out with a sprained left foot almost two weeks ago.

"Any time you're getting everyday at-bats, it makes it better," said Adams, who is third on the team in homers behind Carlos Beltran (23) and Matt Holliday (19). "You can see the way the ball is coming out of the pitcher's hand and you get your timing down.

"I've still got to work on chasing the pitches down. I'm still doing that. The key for me starting this road trip is that I'm seeing the off-speed stuff up and not swinging at it down in the dirt."

Matheny had suggested before the game that he wasn't looking to use the loss of Craig as any sort of excuse. …

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