Posted September 09, 2012 on AP on Fox
The St. Louis Cardinals hold a slim lead for the NL's second wild-card spot and are set to begin a crucial seven-game West Coast trip. Given their recent struggles on the road - and those of starter Jaime Garcia - the trip may have come at a challenging time. Losers in five of their last six away from home, the Cardinals open a three-game series with the San Diego Padres on Monday night. St. Louis avoided a sweep and ended a three-game skid with a 5-4, 10-inning win over Milwaukee on Sunday, blowing a two-run lead in the ninth inning before Matt Carpenter scored on Allen Craig's single. Carlos Beltran ended an 0-for-14 slump and earned his first extra-base hit in 50 at-bats with his 29th home run in the first - one of his two hits on the day. "It was good for me to go out there and get a couple hits,'' Beltran said. "Lately, it's been a battle at the plate.'' There's a battle in the standings as well, as the Cardinals (75-65) hold a 1 1/2-game lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers...
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