Click for St. Louis, Missouri Forecast

// a href = ./ // St Louis News, Weather, Sports, The Big 550 AM, St Louis Traffic, Breaking News in St Louis

 
 
 

 

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Shelby Miller's confidence remains intact.

Unfortunately for the St. Louis Cardinals rookie pitcher, so do his struggles against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Slumping Garrett Jones hit his 100th career homer and drove in four runs and the Pirates beat St. Louis 5-0 on Friday night to move into a tie with the Cardinals for the NL Central lead.

"We have an offense that is electric and we've got good pitching," Miller said. "I know this team is going to turn it on. It might not have looked like it tonight but it was a bad night."

It tends to be whenever Miller (12-9) faces the Pirates. He fell to 0-4 against Pittsburgh after 4 1-3 erratic innings, giving up five runs on eight hits, striking out three and walking three.

"I made some mistakes with some pitches and they put good swings on them," Miller said. "At the end of the day, they were better than us."

While blaming himself for not keeping the Cardinals in the game, Miller received little help from an offense that has managed all of one run in Miller's four starts versus the Pirates. St. Louis never even got a runner to third on a night they were no match for revitalized Francisco Liriano.

Two weeks after pitching a complete game in a 5-1 win over the Cardinals, Liriano (15-6) might have been even better. He allowed just two hits while walking two and striking out two.

"They're waiting for him to make a mistake out of over the plate but he's not making many mistakes then you don't have too many options," St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. "We hit some balls hard but not enough of them in a row then we gave him the lead and that made it even tougher for us."

A rejuvenated Jones certainly helped. The first baseman came in hitting just .119 in August but broke loose after Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle gave him some time off earlier this week to figure things out.

For a night, the tinkering worked.

Jones hit a two-run double in the first inning to give Pittsburgh the lead, added a moon shot to the seats in right field off Miller in the fourth and followed it up with an RBI single in the fifth.

That was plenty for Liriano. The left-hander is in the midst of a mid-career revival with the Pirates and he had little trouble improving to 4-0 against the Cardinals, bouncing back from a rough start in San Francisco last weekend to retire 18 of the last 19 batters he faced.

"Anybody with his experience and his determination, when you get a little setback you want to come back and get things right," Hurdle said.

Behind Liriano and Jones, Pittsburgh righted itself following a bumpy three-game set against Milwaukee earlier in the week.

An early boost from Jones certainly helped. Jose Tabata led off with a single and Neil Walker doubled to put runners in scoring position two batters into the game. Miller hit Pedro Alvarez to load the bases and Jones ended a month's worth of frustration by slashing a ball down the right-field line.

Jones kept it going in the fourth, golfing Miller's fastball into the stands. Martin followed with a shot over the wall in center on the next pitch to give Pittsburgh a 4-0 lead.

Jones drove in newly acquired outfielder Marlon Byrd in the fifth, making his entire RBI total this month (four) with three swings of the bat.

Matheny replaced Miller one batter later after a particularly baffling night in which Miller twice walked Liriano - who came in hitting just .075 - on four pitches.

"He never had a real good feel for anything today," Matheny said of Miller. "He threw some good secondary pitches because his fastball wasn't working but they also fouled off a lot of tough pitches and he couldn't command much in the zone."

NOTES: The Cardinals bolstered their bullpen on Friday when they acquired reliever John Axford from Milwaukee. "There's a lot of experience there, a lot of upside," Matheny said. "It's hard to forget that two years ago this guy was one of the top relievers in the game." ... Lance Lynn (13-8, 4.02 ERA) starts for the Cardinals on Saturday against A.J. Burnett (6-9, 3.18).

Saturday, 31 August 2013 00:32
Published in Sports
Written by
Read more...

On Thursday, the Cardinals optioned pitchers Michael Wacha and Michael Blazek while recalling left handed reliever Sam Freeman to add a fresh arm to the bullpen for their weekend series in Pittsburgh. Friday the Cardinals acquired right handed reliever Jon Axford from the Milwaukee Brewers for a player to be named later.  Axford lost the closer role in Milwaukee this season.  He accumulated a 6-7 mark with a 4.45 ERA.  Last season Axford had 35 saves for Milwaukee and lead the National League with 46 saves in 2011.

Friday, 30 August 2013 11:02
Published in Sports
Written by
Read more...

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Bobby Rainey scored his first two touchdowns of the preseason, leading a cluster of backups fighting for jobs on both sides in the St. Louis Rams' 24-21 victory to close the preseason on Thursday night.

Baltimore Ravens star running back Ray Rice watched from home, as did Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco.

The Rams (1-3) avoided their first winless preseason since 2002 on an 8-yard touchdown pass from Austin Davis to Chase Reynolds with 2:40 to go. They clinched it when Drew Thomas intercepted third-stringer Caleb Hanie at the 4 in the final minute.

The Ravens (2-2) open the NFL season next Thursday night at Denver. Coach John Harbaugh typically sits all of his regulars for the final preseason game and Hanie went the distance with second-stringer Tyrod Taylor held out.

The ultimate goal for both teams, besides deciding some jobs, was to get out of the finale unscathed.

Attendance was announced at 53,364, although the 67,000-seat Edward Jones Dome appeared about one-third full for a sloppy show marred by six total turnovers. The Rams were whistled for 113 yards in penalties.

Rams coach Jeff Fisher opened with a handful of starters, including both first-round draft picks. Tavon Austin's outing was damaged by one of the team's three fumbles, and linebacker Alec Ogletree had two tackles.

Davis and Kellen Clemens both had strong games competing to be Sam Bradford's backup.

Safety Matt Elam, the Ravens' first-round pick, had a strong first half with a forced fumble and four tackles.

St. Louis took its first lead on Nick Johnson's 4-yard catch early in the fourth quarter, and the Ravens answered 2:21 later on Marlon Brown's 50-yard catch and run for a 21-17 lead.

Rainey had opened the scoring with a 1-yard run in the first quarter and had an 8-yard run in the second.

Thursday, 29 August 2013 23:19
Published in Sports
Written by
Read more...

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The NFL agreed to pay more than three-quarters of a billion dollars to settle lawsuits from thousands of former players who developed dementia or other concussion-related brain disorders they say were caused by the very on-field violence that fueled the game's rise to popularity and profit.

The class-action settlement, unprecedented in sports, was announced Thursday after two months of court-ordered mediation and is subject to approval by a federal judge. It came exactly a week before the first game of the 2013 season, removing a major legal and financial threat hanging over the sport.

U.S. District Judge Anita B. Brody in Philadelphia is expected to rule on the settlement in two to three months but said it "holds the prospect of avoiding lengthy, expensive and uncertain litigation, and of enhancing the game of football."

More than 4,500 former players, some of them suffering from depression or dementia, accused the NFL of concealing the long-term dangers of concussions and rushing injured players back onto the field, while glorifying and profiting from the bone-crushing hits that were often glorified in slow motion on NFL Films.

"Football has been my life and football has been kind to me," said former Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Dorsett, one of at least 10 members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame who filed suit since 2011. "But when I signed up for this, I didn't know some of the repercussions. I did know I could get injured, but I didn't know about my head or the trauma or the things that could happen to me later on in life."

The settlement applies to all 18,000 past NFL players and spouses of those who are deceased — a group that could total more than 20,000 — and will cost the league $765 million, the vast majority of which would go to compensate athletes with certain neurological ailments, plus plaintiffs' attorney fees. It sets aside $75 million for medical exams and $10 million for medical research.

Individual payouts would be capped at $5 million for men with Alzheimer's disease; $4 million for those diagnosed after their deaths with a brain condition called chronic traumatic encephalopathy; and $3 million for players with dementia, said lead plaintiffs' lawyer Christopher Seeger.

The settlement does not include an admission from the NFL that it hid information from players about head injuries. Commissioner Roger Goodell told pro football's lawyers to "do the right thing for the game and the men who played it," according to a statement by the league.

Goodell was not made available for comment.

The NFL has annual revenue of about $9 billion.

In addition to Dorsett, the plaintiffs include Super Bowl-winning quarterback Jim McMahon, who suffers from dementia; former running back Kevin Turner, who has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease; and the family of All-Pro selection Junior Seau, who committed suicide last year.

Turner, who played for the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles, predicted that most of his peers would support the settlement.

"Chances are ... I won't make it to 50 or 60," said Turner, now 44. "I have money now to put back for my children to go to college and for a little something to be there financially."

All former NFL players are eligible to seek care, screening or compensation, whether they suffered a documented concussion or not. The amounts they receive will be based on their age, condition and years of play. They do not need to prove that their health problems are connected to playing football.

Players' lawyers said they expect the fund to cover the ex-athletes' expenses up to age 65. Current players are not covered.

If the settlement holds, the NFL won't have to disclose internal files that might reveal what it knew, and when, about concussion-linked brain problems.

"I think it's more important that the players have finality, that they're vindicated, and that as soon as the court approves the settlement they can begin to get screening, and those that are injured can get their compensation. I think that's more important than looking at some documents," said lawyer Sol Weiss of Philadelphia, who filed the first lawsuit on behalf of former Atlanta Falcon Ray Easterling and a few others. Easterling later committed suicide.

Sports law experts had thought the lawsuits might cost the league $1 billion or more if they went to trial. The NFL had pushed for the claims to be heard in arbitration under terms of the players' labor contract.

The league had also argued that individual teams bear the chief responsibility for health and safety under the collective bargaining agreement, along with the players' union and the players themselves.

Dorsett said each day is getting harder for him, as he struggles with memory problems.

"It's frustrating. Frustrating. And to have a 10-year old daughter who says to her mother, 'Daddy can't do this because Daddy won't remember how to do it,' it's not a good feeling," he said. "I'm glad to see there's been ... acknowledgment that football has had something to do with a lot of the issues us players are going through right now."

In recent years, a string of former NFL players and other athletes who suffered concussions have been diagnosed after their deaths with CTE, including both Seau and Easterling.

While some of those who sued suffered brain ailments, others were worried about future problems and wanted their health monitored.

"I'm relieved; I don't know about pleased. There are probably too many details to work through that we don't all understand yet, quite frankly. But I'm relieved that both sides came together to protect the game we all love and help the players of the past and tomorrow. And to especially help those who need help right now, who have cognitive issues and those whose quality of life has been taken away," said Mark Rypien, the MVP of the 1992 Super Bowl for the Washington Redskins.

He has dealt with depression and memory problems.

"It's a good day, because we're getting help for those who need help," Rypien said, "and a sad day, because we didn't get this done earlier to help guys in the past."

Researchers at the Boston University Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, who have been examining brains of deceased NFL players, praised the $10 million set aside for research.

The lawsuits, along with a growing awareness that concussions can have serious long-term effects, have already spurred research into better helmets and changed the way the game is played.

Helmet maker Riddell, which was also sued, was not a party to the settlement. The company declined comment.

The NFL has also instituted rule changes designed to eliminate hits to the head and neck, protect defenseless players, and prevent athletes who have had concussions from playing or practicing until they are fully recovered. Independent neurologists must be consulted before a player can return to action.

One key rule change that takes effect this season bars ball carriers from using the crown of the helmet to make contact with defenders.

"We thought it was critical to get more help to players and families who deserve it rather than spend many years and millions of dollars on litigation," NFL Executive Vice President Jeffrey Pash Executive Vice President Jeffrey Pash said in a statement, the only comment issued by the league. "This is an important step that builds on the significant changes we've made in recent years to make the game safer."

Thursday, 29 August 2013 23:17
Published in Sports
Written by
Read more...

 

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Jay Bruce homered and had five RBIs and the Cincinnati Reds got a dominant effort from Homer Bailey to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 10-0 on Wednesday night and avoid a three-game sweep.

The Reds came out swinging a few hours after Brandon Phillips' expletive-filled tirade at a Cincinnati Enquirer reporter sparked by scrutiny of his .310 on-base percentage, and after manager Dusty Baker criticized his team for falling short while dropping four of five.

The Cardinals lead the NL Central by a half-game over Pittsburgh after losing for the third time in 12 games, and the Reds are 3 1/2 games back.

Bailey (9-10) capped a six-run first against Adam Wainwright (15-8) with the Reds' sixth hit and his first RBI of the season. He allowed five hits in 7 1-3 innings with seven strikeouts and is 4-0 in his past six starts.

The poor start was unusual for Wainwright, who matched his career worst with nine runs allowed and lasted two innings for his shortest outing of the year.

He had worked at least seven innings his previous eight starts and was coming off a complete game against the Braves.

Phillips singled his first two at-bats and struck out his next two trips while going 2 for 5.

The Reds also got RBIs from Ryan Ludwick and Todd Frazier in the first with another run scoring on a wild pitch. Zack Cozart got the first of his three hits when Wainwright failed to cover first.

Phillips singled and Joey Votto walked again to open the second, setting the table for Bruce's 26th homer on a 1-2 pitch. It's his third five-RBI game, one of them against the Cardinals in 2009.

Rookie Michael Wacha was a bright spot for St. Louis, following Wainwright with four scoreless innings and seven strikeouts.

Shortstop Pete Kozma was among four substitutes in the sixth with the Reds still up 9-0, going to left field in his first appearance as an outfielder since July 28, 2007, when he played right field for Class A Gulf Coast.

Chris Heisey put the Reds in double figures with his 10th homer off Fernando Salas in the ninth.

Notes: Votto entered just 3 for 23 with one RBI and one walk against Wainwright. ...The Reds have won three of the past 11 in the series. ... Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter, out all season with a nerve ailment, accompanied the team on its last trip to serve as a mentor after manager Mike Matheny said he "realized he could bring value." Matheny was hopeful the pitcher would make the next trip, too.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013 23:03
Published in Sports
Written by
Read more...

 

HOUSTON (AP) -- Johnny Football's season will start a little late.

Johnny Manziel was suspended for the first half of Texas A&M's opening game against Rice on Saturday for what the school called an "inadvertent" violation of NCAA rules by signing autographs.

The penalty appears to have brought a quick end to an investigation that could have ruined the seventh-ranked Aggies' upcoming season.

The school issued a statement Wednesday saying it declared the Heisman Trophy winner ineligible and that the NCAA agreed to reinstate Manziel after he sits out the first half against the underdog Owls.

"I am proud of the way both Coach Sumlin and Johnny handled this situation, with integrity and honesty," Texas A&M Chancellor John Sharp said in the statement. "We all take the Aggie Code of Honor very seriously and there is no evidence that either the university or Johnny violated that code."

The quarterback was being investigated by the NCAA for allegedly accepting money for signing autographs for memorabilia brokers, a violation of NCAA rules that could have led to a much longer suspension. ESPN first reported the allegations against Manziel earlier this month.

According to the statement, Texas A&M and the NCAA "confirmed there is no evidence Manziel received money in exchange for autographs based on currently available information and statements by Manziel."

Conditions for reinstatement include Manziel discussing his actions with teammates and A&M revising how it educates student-athletes about signing autographs.

"Student-athletes are often asked for autographs from fans, but unfortunately, some individuals' sole motivation in seeking an autograph is for resale," said Kevin Lennon, NCAA vice president of academic and membership affairs. "It is important that schools are cognizant and educate student-athletes about situations in which there is a strong likelihood that the autograph seeker plans to resell the items."

He likely will be replaced in the starting lineup by either junior Matt Joeckel or freshman Kenny Hill. Joeckel has thrown only 11 passes in his college career.

The news of Manziel's suspension was the talk of Twitter on Wednesday afternoon, with many questioning the length of the suspension. Former NFL and MLB star Deion Sanders was incredulous at the brevity of Manziel's suspension, after Dez Bryant was suspended for an entire season while at Oklahoma State after lying about having dinner with Sanders.

"Can we investigate the investigators? (at)DezBryant got suspended a season 4 lying about a dinner that wasnt a violation & Manziel gets a half," Sanders tweeted soon after the ruling was made public.

The decision also had a major impact in Las Vegas, where the odds of Manziel's chances of repeating as a Heisman winner and Texas A&M's chances of winning the national championship shifted dramatically on Wednesday. RJ Bell, the founder of sports betting web site Pregame.com, said that Manziel's chances of winning the Heisman jumped from 12/1 to 6/1 on Wednesday, and the team's shot at the title increased from 18/1 to 10/1.

The latest problem isn't the first time off-the-field trouble has put Manziel's career in jeopardy.

Manziel was arrested last summer after a bar fight near campus and charged with disorderly conduct, possession of the fake ID and failure to identify himself to police. It was an incident that put him in danger of being suspended from school and left him having to earn the starting job in fall camp.

Manziel admitted this June that he failed to identify himself to police following the altercation. As part of a plea deal, other charges against the 20-year-old, including disorderly conduct, were dismissed, and it looked like Manziel's trouble was behind him before the latest problems came to light.

Manziel became the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy last season, setting numerous school and Southeastern Conference records while leading Texas A&M to an 11-2 mark and a victory over No. 1 Alabama in its first season in the SEC.

He followed that with a high-profile offseason of road trips to Las Vegas and the NBA Finals. Manziel got to meet Heat star LeBron James and rapper Drake, and he posted some Tweets that made headlines.

His biggest misstep, however, came during the summer when he departed early from a quarterback camp for high school players run by the Manning family in Louisiana. Manziel said it was a mutual decision after he overslept and missed meetings and activities.

Dat Nguyen, an All-America linebacker at Texas A&M in the 1990s and former assistant coach for the Aggies, lamented Manziel's mistakes, but noted what he's done for the program.

"I'm a little bit disappointed with what's going on down there," Nguyen said recently. "Going into the season I thought this would be the year for A&M to win a national championship and this has been a distraction. He made a bad decision and he's just got to move on ... but overall the guy has put A&M back on the map."

Former Texas A&M coach R.C. Slocum, who is now a special adviser to Texas A&M's president, has watched Manziel's career with great interest and is looking forward to seeing how he'll follow up his incredible first season.

"This young man has been in a position that no one has ever been in," Slocum said on Wednesday before the suspension was announced. "He's been a freshman and a 20-year-old winner of the Heisman Trophy, and he's done some great things with that and he's had a few things I'm sure he'd like to have a do-over with. And if I were advising him, I might have said, `That's probably not in your best interests to do that or say that or be there,' but in terms of the upcoming season, I'm as anxious as anybody to see what happens and see what the results are."

Manziel was the main attraction at SEC Media Days, where he was peppered with questions but answered with the same cool and calm he often shows in the face of a pass rush.

"I don't feel like I've done anything that's catastrophic," Manziel said at the time. "Of course, I've made my mistakes. It's time to grow up."

The day before the Aggies reported for preseason practice, ESPN reported Manziel signed thousands of autographs for brokers in Texas, Florida and Connecticut, and cited unidentified sources who said Manziel was paid thousands for dollars for the signatures.

Manziel has been off-limits to the media since news broke of the NCAA investigation, but has been practicing with the Aggies.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013 23:01
Published in Sports
Written by
Read more...

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Robert Griffin III trade helped speed the St. Louis Rams' arc from sad sack to respectability. In coach Jeff Fisher's second season, they'll be counting on more high-profile youngsters they've stockpiled to take the next step.

Surplus picks from the deal with Washington for the second overall pick in 2012 gave the Rams confidence to trade up for wide receiver Tavon Austin this year. Austin and fellow first-rounder Alec Ogletree will start for a team that improved to 7-8-1 last year with two rookie starters on defense and both specialists as rookies, too.

While the Redskins made the playoffs last year, the Rams had more needs to fill and they're getting Washington's first-rounder next year, too. They remain among the NFL's youngest teams, so expect more learning on the job that'll require patience at the top.

There are increased expectations, fed in part by the addition of free agents Jared Cook and Jake Long. There's a feeling the Rams belong in a stacked NFC West, too, after going 4-1-1 in the division, but will have to show it over the long haul to post the franchise's first winning record in a decade.

"Now is when you're got to learn grit," general manager Les Snead said. "They're going to know we're coming."

If the Rams were playing on the PGA tour, Snead last year they'd have been satisfied making the cut. No more.

The Rams have been here before only to fall back, winning seven games in 2010 only to crash the next season, losing their first six, going 2-14 and getting Steve Spagnuolo fired. It shouldn't happen again under Fisher, and here are five things to know about the Rams heading into the Sept. 8 opener at home against Arizona:

FISHER'S TEAM: The roster overhaul has been drastic, with eight undrafted free agents among the 18 rookies to play last year. There are about a dozen holdovers from the failed Spagnuolo and Scott Linehan regimes that combined for just 15 wins in five seasons, the worst stretch in NFL history. A few have been simply too good to show the door. Middle linebacker James Laurinaitis has led the team in tackles all four of his seasons, defensive end Chris Long is the top pass rusher and though Sam Bradford has yet to crack the NFL's elite cadre of quarterbacks, the Rams are satisfied with him. They've had a while to adjust to the biggest camp setback, plugging in veteran Will Witherspoon at outside linebacker the first four games. Though Jo-Lonn Dunbar's suspension was announced in early August, the team had known it was coming barring a successful appeal for some times.

REPLACING JACKSON: The biggest question heading into camp, finding a successor to Steven Jackson, was settled prior to Week 3 of the preseason when Fisher named Daryl Richardson the starting running back. Richardson was the next-to-last pick of the 2012 draft but is no surprise anymore, beating second rounder Isaiah Pead for the backup job last year and impressing this summer with quickness and decisive moves. Two rookies, fifth-rounder Zac Stacy and undrafted Benny Cunningham, are also in the mix.

SPEED SPEED SPEED: For years, the Rams ignored wide receiver. Now they're well stocked. Austin showed game-breaking potential at Denver with an 81-yard punt return and will be used all over the field to keep defenses guessing. Both Austin and Stedman Bailey are coming off prolific seasons at West Virginia. Incumbent Chris Givens won a number of foot races as a rookie last year after emerging ahead of Brian Quick, chosen two rounds earlier in the second round. Quick has shown promise in the preseason he's ready to handle more. The rookies must adapt, though, to a more complex playbook.

BRADFORD BREAKOUT?: For the first time since getting picked first overall in 2010, the quarterback didn't have to spend the offseason learning a new scheme. A second season with offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer's scheme should help expand the options for Bradford, who is coming off his best statistical season.

"It seems like now I've just had so much more experience and I've seen things that it's rare that I see something that catches me totally off-guard," Bradford said.

FRONT LINE: The Rams have a pair of former No. 1 overall picks on offense, with Long (2008) protecting Bradford's blind side at left tackle. Center Scott Wells was among the top additions last year and is healthy after a delayed debut in 2012 and right guard Harvey Dahl is durable, efficient and feisty. Chris Williams and Shelly Smith, alternating starts at left guard during the preseason, are both solid. Former left tackle Rodger Saffold is an upgrade on the right side after an inauspicious start, injuring his shoulder on the second snap of the preseason. He returned for Week 3.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013 23:12
Published in Sports
Written by
Read more...

 

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Joe Kelly tossed six strong innings and Matt Holliday drove in a run for a seventh straight game, lifting the St. Louis Cardinals to a 6-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night.

St. Louis has won six of its last seven, including the first two games of this three-game set. The first-place Cardinals have won eight of their last 10 against the third-place Reds and lead them by 4 1/2 games in the NL Central.

The Cards also moved 1 1/2 games ahead of second-place Pittsburgh, which lost to Milwaukee.

Shin-soo Choo homered for Cincinnati, which lost for the fourth time in five games. The Cardinals retired the last 13 Cincinnati batters, dropping the Reds to 4-10 against St. Louis this season.

Kelly (6-3), who allowed one run on nine hits, improved to 6-0 in nine starts since rejoining the starting rotation on July 6. The Cardinals have won the last six games he has started. Kelly began the season in the bullpen.

Holliday, who went 2 for 3, keyed a two-run outburst in the first against Mat Latos (13-5), who gave up four runs on nine hits over six innings. He struck out four and did not walk a batter.

Arizona slugger Paul Goldschmidt had an eight-game RBI streak in early June - a season best in MLB.

The Cardinals needed just 14 pitches to take a 2-0 lead. Matt Carpenter and Carlos Beltran began the opening frame with singles. Holliday followed with a hit to right to bring in Carpenter, who scored his major league-leading 100th run. Allen Craig then hit into a double play, allowing Beltran to score from third.

Choo brought the Reds to 2-1 with a leadoff homer in the fifth, the 100th round-tripper of his career and 17th of the season.

The Cardinals answered with single runs in the sixth and seventh and scored twice in the eighth.

Craig pushed the lead to 3-1 with his team-leading 96th RBI on a run-scoring double in the sixth. Carpenter brought in Jon Jay with a sacrifice fly in the seventh. Jay and Daniel Descalso singled to start the inning.

Notes: Adam Wainwright (15-7, 2.58 ERA) faces Homer Bailey (8-10, 3.71) in the final of the three-game series Wednesday. Bailey is 0-5 with a 6.90 ERA in seven career starts at Busch Stadium. ... St. Louis INF Pete Kozma is mired in a 0-for-23 slump. ... The Cardinals are 34-22 against NL Central opponents this season with 22 divisional games remaining. ... The Reds have spent the past 127 days in second, third or fourth place.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013 23:08
Published in Sports
Written by
Read more...

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Rams coach Jeff Fisher does not want the team's running backs to be judged solely on the preseason stats.

However, it doesn't mean he's not concerned about their production.

"That's an area where we need to improve on, but we haven't had opportunities in the games to really just line up," Fisher said after Monday's practice.

The Rams finish the preseason on Thursday against Baltimore.

The Rams are making a transition to a life without perennial 1,000-yard rusher Steven Jackson, who left via free agency to Atlanta.

They are averaging a little more than 3 yards a carry from their top four running backs, a year after the team ranked 19th in the league in yards per game with a 107.1 average.

Daryl Richardson, tabbed as the team's starter earlier this month, has 34 yards on nine carries in the first three games of the preseason.

"I feel pretty good about the running game," he said. "We've just got to execute and get better every day, all just be on the same page and eliminate penalties."

Richardson is coming off a rookie season in which he gained 475 yards on 98 carries in a backup role to Jackson.

Isaiah Pead's role might be more questionable. The second-year player out of Cincinnati carried the ball just 10 times in 2012 and is suspended for the 2013 season opener for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

He's had the most carries this preseason with 19, gaining 59 yards. He also has the only lost fumble by a running back.

"I've been trying to prove myself since I came here. Really, the only difference is that Steven's gone," Pead said. "I still come in, ready to work, trying to find a spot on the team whether it be special team or offense."

The Rams game at Denver last Saturday was another missed chance for the running backs to get work.

St. Louis planned to work on its running attack, only to change as the game unfolded.

Lineman Rodger Saffold, returning from a shoulder injury that limited his work leading up to the game, lasted the entire first half after it was anticipated he might only play a handful of snaps.

The Rams have also wanted to focus on their passing game and this year's top draft choice Tavon Austin and third-rounder Stedman Bailey at receiver. Fisher wants to enhance the downfield options for quarterback Sam Bradford.

He said if that part of the game develops, it can only serve to help his young running backs, that includes two second-year players and two rookies in the top four on the depth chart.

That has limited the chances for rookies Zac Stacy, a fifth-round choice from Vanderbilt, and Benny Cunningham, from Middle Tennessee State who signed as an undrafted free agent. But both should play a role in the upcoming season.

How much might be determined Thursday.

"I think you'll probably see some more," Fisher said. "''We'll get a chance to look at them this week. With Isaiah not being available to us in Week 1, we'll have to look at all the backs."

NOTES: TE Cory Harkey could miss up to a month with a fracture in his leg suffered Saturday at Denver. The second-year player got significant time during the preseason as top TE Lance Kendricks recovers from offseason knee surgery. ...The Rams announced 11 cuts as they close in on Tuesday's deadline to reduce the roster to the NFL-mandated 75 players. St. Louis released K/P Brett Baer, WR Demetrius Fields, WR Andrew Helmick, LS Jorgen Hus, QB Tim Jenkins, DT Al Lapuaho, LB Joseph Lebeau, TE Colby Prince, WR Raymond Radway and CB Robert Steeples.

Monday, 26 August 2013 22:55
Published in Sports
Written by
Read more...

 

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Allen Craig hit his first career grand slam with two out in the seventh inning, helping the St. Louis Cardinals rally for an 8-6 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Monday night.

Matt Holliday also had a long three-run homer as St. Louis moved into sole possession of first place in the NL Central for the first time since July 29. The Cardinals lead idle Pittsburgh by a half-game and Cincinnati by 3 1/2 games in the top-heavy division.

Rookie Carlos Martinez (1-1) pitched two innings for his first major league win and Edward Mujica worked a perfect ninth for his 35th save.

Zack Cozart had two hits and three RBIs for the Reds, who dropped to 4-9 against St. Louis this season. Jay Bruce hit his 25th homer in the eighth.

Cozart and Todd Frazier each hit a two-run triple off Tyler Lyons in the second, helping Cincinnati to a 4-0 lead. But Holliday belted a three-run drive deep to left in the third.

Holliday's 18th homer came against Mike Leake and traveled an estimated 443 feet for the longest shot by a St. Louis player at Busch Stadium this season.

The Cardinals went ahead to stay in the seventh. Jon Jay drove in a run with a bases-loaded grounder off Manny Parra (1-3). J.J. Hoover then came in and walked Holliday on a full-count pitch and Craig drove the next pitch over the wall in right for his 13th homer.

The crowd of 35,159 roared as Craig rounded the bases. The big first baseman then came out for a curtain call.

Bruce connected against Seth Maness, but that was it for Cincinnati, which lost for the third time in four games.

Lyons settled down after the rough start and was charged with one earned run in five innings. He struck out seven and walked two.

Leake allowed five runs and seven hits in 6 1-3 innings. The right-hander is 1-1 with an unseemly 5.20 ERA in his last six starts.

NOTES: Joe Kelly (5-3, 3.01 ERA) will face Cincinnati's Mat Latos (13-4, 2.93 ERA) in the second game of the three-game series on Tuesday. Latos is 5-1 with a 1.47 ERA in seven starts since the All-Star break. ... The Cardinals are 24-3-2 in home series against Cincinnati since the start of the 2003 season.

Monday, 26 August 2013 22:52
Published in Sports
Written by
Read more...

Latest News

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
Prev Next
Wainwright injures knee, Cardinals blank Mets 3-0

Wainwright injures knee, Cardinals blank Mets 3-0

  NEW YORK (AP) -- Adam Wainwright threw seven neat innings before leaving with a knee injury, and Jon Jay hit a two-run single that sent the St. Louis Cardinals to a 3...

Albert Pujols hits 500th HR of major league career

Albert Pujols hits 500th HR of major league career

  WASHINGTON (AP) -- Albert Pujols reached 500 homers in a hurry.   The Los Angeles Angels' first baseman hit a pair of shots off Washington Nationals righ...

Lyons solid in 1st start, Cards blanked by Mets

Lyons solid in 1st start, Cards blanked by Mets

  NEW YORK (AP) -- Tyler Lyons stepped into the St. Louis rotation and looked right at home. Too bad for him, the Cardinals couldn't get anyone home to help him. &n...

Blackhawks blank Blues 2-0 in Game 3

Blackhawks blank Blues 2-0 in Game 3

CHICAGO (AP) -- Corey Crawford made 34 saves in his third career postseason shutout, and the Chicago Blackhawks got back into their playoff series with the St. Louis Blues with ...

Cards defense, bullpen falter in 3-2 loss to Nats

Cards defense, bullpen falter in 3-2 loss to Nats

  WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Cardinals managed to score twice against Stephen Strasburg while starter Shelby Miller kept the Nationals offense quiet. Nine outs away from ta...

Molina's error hurts Cardinals in 3-1 loss to Nats

  WASHINGTON (AP) -- There's a simple reason St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Michael Wacha felt comfortable putting a changeup in the ground with the bases loaded in the se...

© 2013 KTRS All Rights Reserved