Before the first pitch, manager Mike Matheny noted there are distractions every day for the St. Louis Cardinals. This, he maintained, was just another one.
A federal investigation into possible computer hacking by the team becoming news Monday failed to slow down the team with the major leagues’ best record.
The Cardinals extended their winning streak to five by beating the Minnesota Twins 3-2 behind Michael Wacha’s pitching and Mark Reynolds’ two-run single.
“We’re cooperating and I think they understand it really has nothing to do with us inside the clubhouse right now,” Matheny said. “Our job is to stay focused on what we can do each day, and let that process take care of itself.”
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Before the game, Matheny said he was in the weight room when he first learned of the investigation into whether the Cardinals had hacked Houston’s computer database. The Cardinals then completed a soggy homestand in which three games were delayed and another against Kansas City was postponed until July 23.
St. Louis is 43-22 overall and 26-7 at home, both tops in the majors, and matched a franchise best by reaching 43 wins in 64 games.
Minnesota has lost seven of eight and was 1-4 on a trip that featured the debut of Byron Buxton, the second overall pick in 2012.
“He is just one player and he’s played really well and it’s been awesome to see him up here, that’s for sure,” Twins starter Kyle Gibson said. “We’re definitely excited for how he’s going to help the team, and he’s going to.”
Wacha (9-2) halted warmups before the first pitch was delayed 45 minutes and didn’t return after a 47-minute rain delay with one out in the seventh and the Cardinals leading 3-1. He allowed two runs on three hits in 6 1/3 innings.
Wacha endured six weather delays totaling more than six hours last season, so the rain Tuesday was nothing new.
“You just kind of have a sense of what to expect,” Wacha said. “I just stayed mentally ready as well as physically.
“You know, it’s not the first time I went through it.”
Kevin Siegrist stood in for Trevor Rosenthal, who is sidelined by a knot in his biceps, and pitched the ninth for his third save in four chances.
Matheny thought Rosenthal looked better but needed another day, and didn’t think the injury would require a stint on the 15-day disabled list.
“They’ve ruled out anything structural, it’s just one of those times during the season and it just so happened on two nights when he typically would be needed,” Matheny said. “It’s great to see Kevin Siegrist step up once again.”
Yadier Molina doubled for his fourth hit in two games and scored on Randal Grichuk’s sacrifice fly in the second, and Reynolds’ single gave St. Louis a 3-1 lead in the third.
Trevor Plouffe had an RBI double in the first and Kurt Suzuki doubled in a run in the seventh after Seth Maness relieved. Gibson (4-5) allowed three runs and six hits in six innings.
Buxton was easily thrown out stealing by Yadier Molina after reaching on an infield hit leading off the eighth. Matheny said reliever Matt Belisle made it difficult for the rookie to get a good jump.
“The guy was really quick to home,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. “It didn’t work out.”
The teams play at Minnesota on Wednesday and Thursday. Tommy Milone worked seven innings his last time out, allowing only a two-run homer to Elvis Andrus. In his only prior appearance against the Cardinals, he matched a career high surrendering three homers on June 30, 2013, in Oakland. With Carlos Martinez pitching, the Cardinals are 10-2. He’s 7-2 with a 2.93 ERA in his first year in the rotation.
Cardinals: Rosenthal was unavailable the last three games.