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Bullpen helps Cardinals avoid getting swept

9:19 PM, Jul 1, 2012   |    comments
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  • (The Cardinal Nation Show) -- The Cardinals' 5-4 victory over Pittsburgh on Sunday, a game in which the much maligned St. Louis bullpen worked three scoreless innings, was, in manager Mike Matheny's mind, "the biggest win of the year."

    For one reason, the Cardinals had lost the first two games of the series to the Pirates. St. Louis had dropped three games in succession overall, and its home record was a modest 17-18.

    However, Matheny said the players in the dugout were into Sunday's game from the beginning.

    "You could sense something a little different today," he said.

    Left-hander Marc Rzepczynski and right-handers Mitchell Boggs and Jason Motte (save No. 17) held the Pirates off the board for the last three innings after right-hander Jake Westbrook had pitched resolutely for six innings. Prior to the game, the bullpen had a 4.56 ERA and 13 blown saves.

    "It's been a rough couple days before today, playing a team you're behind in the standings that's playing really well," Boggs said. "For our bullpen to get some pretty big outs in a tight game, it doesn't hurt. We feel like we've got guys that can do the job, and we'll show up tomorrow and expect to do the same thing."

    Right fielder Allen Craig took an extra-base hit away in the field and also popped a two-run homer, his 11th, in the third inning. Craig is batting .378 (24-for-74) with five homers and 16 RBI for his career against Pittsburgh.

    "He's dangerous every time he goes up there," Matheny said.

     

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