The St. Louis Cardinals began a daunting 11-game trip leading the NL Central.
They'll enter the final stretch of that trek hoping not to lose any more ground in the division standings.
After snapping their longest slide of the season, the Cardinals try to continue their recent success against the Cincinnati Reds on Friday night.
St. Louis (63-44) held a 2 12-game division lead when the trip began in Atlanta last Friday. However, the Cardinals totaled three runs during a three-game sweep at the hands of the Braves, then dropped the first four at Pittsburgh before ending their seven-game skid with a 13-0 rout of the Pirates on Thursday.
The Cardinals trail Pittsburgh by 1 12 games after Allen Craig, Jon Jay and Tony Cruz each had two RBIs in helping the club confidently exhale for the moment.
"(Thursday) was a good sign for our team," said Craig, who went 3 for 9 the last two games after suffering through an 0-for-22 slump. "There was no panic. We brought a lot of energy.