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Wong keeps swinging hot bat with 3 hits, key homer

Cards third baseman has surged to .340 average after slow start
MLB.com @LangoschMLB

PITTSBURGH -- Moving past his slow season start by ending April with a seven-game hitting streak, Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong has surged toward the top of the National League's batting average leaders with his sensational start to May.

Wong tallied his fifth three-hit game of the season -- the most on the club -- and delivered a key three-run, seventh-inning homer that stood as the difference in the Cardinals' 8-5 win over the Pirates on Friday. The night elevated his season average to .340 and improved him to 13-for-22 with seven RBIs over the last six games.

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PITTSBURGH -- Moving past his slow season start by ending April with a seven-game hitting streak, Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong has surged toward the top of the National League's batting average leaders with his sensational start to May.

Wong tallied his fifth three-hit game of the season -- the most on the club -- and delivered a key three-run, seventh-inning homer that stood as the difference in the Cardinals' 8-5 win over the Pirates on Friday. The night elevated his season average to .340 and improved him to 13-for-22 with seven RBIs over the last six games.

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"I'm just grinding away, trying to play every game as hard as I can," Wong said. "Whether I get hits or not, I'm just trying to keep an even keel the entire time. After a night like this, I'm just going keep to that even keel and keep pushing through."

Perhaps that has been one of the elements behind Wong's emergence as one of the lineup's toughest outs. Sometimes held back by his own propensity to take failure so personally, Wong sought to free himself of those reins this season. It can't hurt, either, that he's spent the last two days hitting in the lineup's second spot, where he has seen more fastballs.

"He's a guy, once he does get into a good rhythm, it's pretty obvious," manager Mike Matheny said. "Right now he's feeling good and making good plays, too. For the most part, he's just taking a pretty consistent at-bat."

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com.

St. Louis Cardinals, Kolten Wong