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Matts how you do it: Cards sweep in Anaheim

May 12, 2016

ANAHEIM -- Matt Holliday homered twice, Matt Carpenter went deep for the third time in this series, and Matt Adams drove in three runs as the Cardinals' offense throttled the Angels in Southern California on Thursday night, notching 18 hits en route to a 12-10, sweep-clinching victory.Down five in the

ANAHEIM -- Matt Holliday homered twice, Matt Carpenter went deep for the third time in this series, and Matt Adams drove in three runs as the Cardinals' offense throttled the Angels in Southern California on Thursday night, notching 18 hits en route to a 12-10, sweep-clinching victory.
Down five in the bottom of the ninth, the Angels got an RBI single by Kole Calhoun, a two-run homer by Albert Pujols -- which made him the ninth active player to homer against all 30 teams -- and three walks by Daniel Nava, C.J. Cron and Johnny Giavotella to load the bases with one out. But Cardinals lefty Kevin Siegrist struck out Carlos Perez and got Shane Robinson to pop out, giving the Angels six consecutive home losses for the first time since 2011.
"Tough spot to come into, but we needed him," said Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, who used three pitchers to navigate the ninth. "He did a great job of bailing us out."
The Cardinals picked up 10 runs from the start of the fourth to the end of the sixth, supporting a shaky Adam Wainwright while producing double-digit runs for the eighth time this season.
In the fourth, Holliday homered and Jeremy Hazelbaker laced a two-run single. In the fifth, which saw Angels starter Jered Weaver abruptly exit, Carpenter hit a three-run shot and Holliday followed with a two-run homer, giving him six on the year. In the sixth, Adams notched a two-run single.
"That's who I believe we are, and I hope they keep believing it," Matheny said of his offense, which tallied 41 hits and 25 runs in the series. "We've talked a lot about the young guys coming through for us, and sooner or later the big boys were going to come [up big]."

Wainwright was charged with seven runs (six earned) on 11 hits and a walk in five innings, ballooning his ERA to 6.80 despite facing a lineup that had managed only eight runs in the previous five games. But the Cardinals nonetheless won for the seventh time in 10 games, improving to 19-16.
"I'm starting over," Wainwright said. "I'm putting all this crap that's happened this year for me behind me, and I'm going to move forward knowing that my stuff is pretty dang good right now. The only way I can move on from that is I have to start over. It's a new season for me from now on."
Gone on Holliday: While everyone in the Cardinals' lineup tallied at least one hit, Holliday had two of the loudest. With the 21st multi-homer game of his career -- and second this season -- Holliday wrapped up the series with five extra-base hits. It was a needed lift for the team's three-hole hitter, who arrived in Anaheim with one extra-base hit in his previous 34 at-bats.
"It's fun to help the team win," Holliday said. "But it doesn't help me tomorrow. Try to hone a good swing, a good path and go out there and compete."

Coming unglued: Weaver began the game by retiring each of his first 11 batters, then allowed nine of the next 10 to reach base and promptly exited. The 33-year-old right-hander was charged with eight runs on nine hits in four-plus innings, shooting his ERA up to 6.10. Angels starters have been unable to complete six innings in 12 of the last 13 games, forcing the bullpen to absorb 54 1/3 innings in that span.
"He just missed some spots," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of Weaver. "They have a strong lineup, no doubt. I thought the first time through he did a really good job of hitting spots. He started to miss with some pitches around the fourth, fifth inning, and those guys didn't miss the pitches."
Not so Rosey: After Seth Maness allowed three of the four ninth-inning batters he faced to score, the Cardinals turned a save situation over to Rosenthal. Pitching on back-to-back days for the first time this season, Rosenthal couldn't find the strike zone. He walked the bases loaded in a 14-pitch span and then turned the mess over to Siegrist. With the tying run on second, Siegrist notched the final two outs to pick up his first season save.
"He's got good stuff and needs to trust it," Matheny said of Rosenthal. "You're going to have those days and you're going to have to figure it out, or someone is going to have to bail you out, which is exactly what happened today."
No escape: The Angels' short bench, a product of the bullpen's heavy workload, prompted catcher Geovany Soto to check into the game at third base in place of Yunel Escobar in the ninth inning. Soto, who had logged one inning at third base in his 12-year Major League career, fielded a sharp two-out grounder off the bat of Stephen Piscotty but threw low for an error charged to Cron on the missed catch at first. Cam Bedrosian then put the next three hitters on base, giving the Cardinals two additional insurance runs.
"I got the toughest part out of the way -- catching the ball," Soto said. "I have to make that throw."
"He's just one of those guys you know when things are right and he gets his rhythm, he'll be who he is. He's the least of my worries right now. He's one small adjustment away from being dominant." -- Holliday, on Wainwright
"It may not look like it right now, but everybody's keeping a positive mindset in the clubhouse, everybody's coming together. ... We can't just quit." -- Weaver on the Angels, eight games below .500 for the first time since September 2013 and dealing with a lot of injuries
Nava lifted a fourth-inning solo home run over the right-field fence, tying the game at 3. It was only the second extra-base hit by an Angels left fielder all year, easily the lowest total in the Major Leagues. Angels left fielders amassed only a .592 OPS last season, tied for the fourth-lowest mark in history.

The Cardinals have scored 10-plus runs eight times already this season, tying a franchise best through the team's first 35 games. It was previously done by the club in 1930, 1956 and 2000. They are one 10-run output away from matching last year's total.

A housecat scampered onto the field as Wainwright was getting ready to fire a pitch in the fourth inning, sprinting past third base, running into the camera well and shooting up through the stands. The Angels quickly flashed video of the cat on the JumboTron with the words "Rally Cat II." The original "Rally Cat" was a black-and-white feline that somehow found himself in the center-field batter's eye in 2014. The latest one, with light brown fur, was picked up and taken to a local adoption agency.
"I've never experienced anything like that before," said Wainwright, who waited until the feline was corralled before making his next pitch. "A big ol' cat, too. "

Escobar jammed his right thumb while diving for a ball in the eighth inning and utility infielder Cliff Pennington, who's basically the everyday shortstop with Andrelton Simmons out, suffered a cramp in his left hamstring while running the bases in the fourth. Both were forced to leave early and both will be re-evaluated on Friday. Their injuries prompted the Angels to designated reliever Javy Guerra for assignment, likely so they can call up another infielder.
Cardinals: The Cardinals will relocate from Anaheim to Los Angeles after the game in advance of a three-game series against the Dodgers that begins on Friday. Former Texas A&M University teammates Michael Wacha and Ross Stripling will face each other in the series opener at 9:10 p.m. CT. Wacha has lost his last three starts.
Angels: The Angels start a three-game weekend series against the division-rival Mariners from Safeco Field on Friday, with first pitch set for 7:10 p.m. PT. Nick Tropeano takes the ball against fellow right-hander Nathan Karns. Tropeano gave up two runs in 5 1/3 innings when he faced the Mariners earlier this year.
Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Alden Gonzalez has covered the Angels for since 2012. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and Facebook , and listen to his podcast.

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for and listen to her podcast.