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St. Louis Cardinals salvage a game against Baltimore

The St. Louis Cardinals managed to salvage a game in their exasperating weekend series against the Baltimore Orioles.

And that's no feat considering the beat down the O's put on the Redbirds in the first two games of the three-game set.

The good news is that the Cardinals are still only two games behind the Milwaukee Brewers for the lead in the National League Central Division, they pulled back ahead of the Pittsburgh Pirates for second place in the division and, if the season ended today, St. Louis would be in the playoffs with a wild card berth.

The bad news is that the clock keeps ticking on the 2014 season and the Cardinals don't seem any closer to solving the case of the mysterious disappearing offense. While they scored eight runs Sunday, the Birds have had far too many games end with three tallies or less on their side of the scoreboard.

St. Louis takes on the sub-.500 Marlins and Padres over the next week. Then, after that, they face a steady diet of Central Division matches for the rest of the season. So, at some point in the near future, they need to gather some momentum if they hope to avoid a potential one and done wildcard playoff.

Lance Lynn improved to 12-8, scattering nine hits over 5 2/3 innings while allowing three runs. His performance was more impressive than his statistical line. He gave up several weak hits including the first two of the game -- a swinging bunt and a ground ball with eyes that somehow found a hole between shortstop and third base -- that led to a run.

Lynn struck out six Baltimore hitters and walked one. Unlike game one and two starters Justin Masterson and John Lackey, he didn't give up any home runs.

Pat Neshek again was critically important to the Cardinals win with two perfect innings, striking out six.

Trevor Rosenthal, who earned a break from his busy schedule because of the Cardinals being blown out earlier in the series, had a clean ninth inning with no baserunners allowed. He struck out two.

Kolten Wong had four hits to raise his season batting average to .253 while scoring two runs. Jhonny Peralta had three hits in four at-bats to raise his season mark to .260 while Matt Carpenter, Jon Jay and Daniel Descalo collected a pair of hits.

Descalso was 7-for-13 in the series, his first consistent playing time in quite a while thanks to playing in an American League with the designated hitter.