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Cardinals grab share of first place with win third-straight win over Atlanta

The Cardinals clinched a series win against the Braves Saturday, returning the rude treatment Atlanta gave them a couple of weeks ago.

But, better yet, the San Francisco Giants dealt Pittsburgh a loss. So the Redbirds have caught the Pirates in the standings. After a couple of weeks after the All-Star Game seemingly lost in the woods, the Birds could return to having the best record in the Major League Baseball (at least a tie with the Braves and potentially the Pirates, Dodgers and Tigers) if they can complete the four-game sweep over Atlanta.

The win Saturday put the Cardinals in first for the 83rd day of the 2013 season.

The Cincinnati Reds kept pace with a win over the sad sack Milwaukee Brewers Saturday and are 2 1/2 games behind the Cardinals on the eve of their three-game set with the Cardinals. So, while St. Louis has accomplished a lot with eight wins in its last 10 games, there's still a lot of work to be done if they hope to win the National League Central crown.

Not to look past Atlanta, but the Cardinals have owned the Reds this season with an 8-4 record against Cincinnati. They've out-scored Cincinnati 79-42.