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Twin drilling: Cardinals' offense jolted awake

Bats snap out of funk during doubleheader sweep
MLB.com @LangoschMLB

ST. LOUIS -- With issues in the field, on the bases and out of the bullpen monopolizing much of the attention through the Cardinals' first 20 games, the club's meek offense had flown somewhat under the radar.

Thursday, however, was a reminder of what it can look like when all is rolling right.

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ST. LOUIS -- With issues in the field, on the bases and out of the bullpen monopolizing much of the attention through the Cardinals' first 20 games, the club's meek offense had flown somewhat under the radar.

Thursday, however, was a reminder of what it can look like when all is rolling right.

View Full Game Coverage

A day that began with the offense unable to crack Mat Latos in his six-inning start concluded with almost every position player contributing to a doubleheader sweep of the Blue Jays. Eight runs over the final five innings in Game 1 lifted the Cardinals to an 8-4 win. They followed that offensive burst by scoring six more times in the first four innings of Game 2 en route to a 6-4 victory.

"Today was just one of those great signs of the offense that we think we can have," manager Mike Matheny said. "That's just one of those that we build on because we believe that our offense should be able to put up a good amount of runs every single night. We just have to have some positive reinforcement."

Video: Must C Comeback: Grichuk ties, Carpenter's slam wins

Matt Carpenter's grand slam to seal the first win of the day was the most celebrated hit, but there was plenty of positive reinforcement to go around. Dexter Fowler reached base seven times in 11 plate appearances and scored four runs. Hitting behind Fowler in the nightcap was Greg Garcia, who reached four times on three hits and a walk.

Kolten Wong had three hits, including two for extra bases. One of those -- a leadoff triple in the 11th inning of Game 1 -- sparked the game-winning rally.

Video: TOR@STL: Wong leads off the 11th with a triple

Randal Grichuk's game-tying homer was among the three hits he collected on the day. Matt Adams, off to a slow 5-for-29 starts, tallied three hits, all to left field, and drove in two.

"These two games show us the type of team we're capable of being whenever we're right," Adams said. "Today, we did the little things right."

Video: TOR@STL: Adams lines a run-scoring double to left

Leading into Thursday's doubleheader, Matheny had been continuously tweaking his lineup to try to generate some sort of collective momentum. The club entered the day ranked among the bottom third of all teams in batting average (.235), on-base percentage (.306), slugging percentage (.379), runs scored (79) and home runs (19). The Cardinals' .203 batting average with runners in scoring position was third-worst in the Majors.

They emerged from the day with 25 hits and have tallied at least 12 in three straight games for the first time since August 2015.

"We have too many good hitters in this clubhouse that are proven hitters in this league," Garcia said. "Over a long season, their numbers are going to be where they're supposed to be at. It's exciting to see that starting happening."

One day doesn't make an offense right. But it does offer a glimpse of what it could be.

"We all know what kind of lineup that we have capable," said Carpenter, who drove in six runs on the day. "But 'expectations' and 'capable,' those are words. You've got to find a way to make it happen."

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast.

St. Louis Cardinals, Matt Adams, Matt Carpenter, Dexter Fowler, Greg Garcia, Randal Grichuk, Kolten Wong