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Wong's bat comes alive in Milwaukee

Second baseman went 5-for-13 with 3 RBIs and 4 runs scored in series
Special to MLB.com

MILWAUKEE -- Kolten Wong has provided enough flashes his all-around game that the Cardinals have continued to give him chances to put it all together.

The second baseman showed what he is capable of doing over the weekend in Milwaukee, capping a four-game series by reaching base four times and driving in a run with a double in a 6-4 victory over the Brewers on Sunday.

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MILWAUKEE -- Kolten Wong has provided enough flashes his all-around game that the Cardinals have continued to give him chances to put it all together.

The second baseman showed what he is capable of doing over the weekend in Milwaukee, capping a four-game series by reaching base four times and driving in a run with a double in a 6-4 victory over the Brewers on Sunday.

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Wong was hitting just .171 over 13 games to start the season but raised his batting average to .229 by hitting .385 (5 for 13) with two doubles and a triple in the series. He also added three RBIs, four runs scored, three walks and two stolen bases.

"That's the game he needs to play, doing so many different things," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "He needs to be be on the bases and put the throttle down and be all over the place defensively and then just continue to grind through his at-bats.

"He had some really good at-bats this series. He swung the bat well in big situations. That's the kind of player we expect to see. It is hard to hold all season long, but that high energy on the bases and that high expectation defensively he can bring every day. He can be a game-changer."

Wong hit a bases-clearing triple in Thursday night's loss to the Brewers and was 2-for-3 with a double, a walk and two runs scored Friday. He took an 0-for-4 on Saturday but bounced back Sunday.

He singled to start the third and stole second base before being picked off by Brewers catcher Manny Pina after venturing too far off the base on a failed bunt attempt by pitcher Mike Leake.

Video: STL@MIL: Pina catches Wong leading off second base

With two on and one out and the Cardinals trailing 2-1 in the fourth, Wong drove a ball to center field that Keon Broxton got a glove on but lost near the wall for a game-tying RBI double.

Wong drew a walk in the sixth and then was intentionally walked in the eighth to load the bases for Eric Fryer, who delivered an RBI single.

Video: STL@MIL: Fryer hits an RBI single to extend the lead

"This is something I want to be doing for the team," Wong said. "Everybody wants to contribute somehow and to do it offensively and defensively was a good thing for me."

While the flashes have allowed Wong to continue to receive chances despite his up-and-down performance, there will come a point in which he will need to become consistent in order to remain an everyday player.

"I'm going to play this game as hard as I can every single day," Wong said. "I'm going to make mistakes playing that hard. That's just part of it. I understand that. I'm just going to keep going, roll with the punches and understand that this is all a process of me working through and figuring out how to become a good player at this level."

With Jhonny Peralta on the disabled list and Jedd Gyorko manning third base in his absence, it appears as if Wong will continue to receive the majority of the playing time at second base for the time being.

He has started at second base in 14 of St. Louis' 19 games, including the last seven.

"The thing with me is I'm not worried about being out there," Wong said. "I told myself this year that regardless if I'm playing I'm here for a reason. I'm going to work on things if I'm not playing. If I'm playing, I'm going to get my work in early and when the game starts I'm just going to go out there and compete. That will be my philosophy all year. I'm going to stick to it."

Andrew Gruman is a contributor to MLB.com based in Milwaukee.

St. Louis Cardinals, Kolten Wong