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Reyes, Diaz and Moss Triple Force Over Cubs In 4-2 Win To Split Series

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Rookie Alex Reyes, follows Jaime Garcia (1.2 IP), for 4.1 innings
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

St. Louis Cardinals rookies Alex Reyes and Aledmys Diaz; along with Brandon Moss, put the Chicago Cubs away in the 4-2 win in Game Two. 

Jaime Garcia made the start facing Cubs Jason Hammel. Both pitchers having their struggles of late. They each came into last night's game with a duplicated 12-5 loss handed to their respective teams by the Milwaukee Brewers. J Garcia had given up 2 HR/5 ER on 8 hits in his short stand, 3.2 IP against the Brewers. Cubs struck early against him in the first with a solo shot by lead-off Dexter Fowler. In his second, Addison Russell added a RBI double to give the Cubs their early 2-0 lead. He had two outs on the board and loaded the bases with his second walk issued. He was retired as rookie Alex Reyes was called up to replace him.

Reyes got his first "K" of the night with Kris Bryant swinging to close the second. 

He went on to pitch the next four innings, allowed the Cubs no further runs, with four strikeouts. However, the young hurler did issue six free passes; but, the Cubs were not able to take advantage of. This was one concern about Reyes while he was with Memphis Triple-A, his control and command, walk/strikeout ratio. Even though, Reyes held his own, getting out of some jams but denied the Cubs another win. J Garcia's next start is against the San Francisco Giants on the road, September 18. Manager Mike Matheny has not committed to who will make that start. J Garcia or Alex Reyes. 

Rookie SS Aledmys Diaz returns to the line-up from the 15-Day DL with a solo shot his first at-bat against the Cubs.
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

WELCOME BACK, ALEDMYS DIAZ 

Cardinals All Star, RoY contender rookie Aledmys Diaz had been activated from the DL (fractured thumb) over this past weekend; but, held out of play until last night's game. Finishing his rehab assignment with the Cardinals, due to Springfield Double-A season at an end, his fielding was fine; but, use of the bat was the major concern. His first at-bat, facing Hammel in the second, there was no question about his ability at the plate. One runner on, two outs on the board and taking the first pitch with a smooth swing, Diaz sends a rocket out left for a two-run home run picking up where he left off prior to this DL stint. That was his 15 HR this season. 

His two run knock tied the game. Not only were the fans excited to see his return; I believe, his return gave life to the team, too. Especially, Brandon Moss

Brandon Moss puts up his 26 home run of the season in the sixth for the go-ahead two run lead.
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Moss has been in a slump recent with 1-41 AB in his past 12 games and sitting on 25 home runs since August 25. Last night, he snapped his cold streak. He was 2-3 AB/2 RBI adding two runs. In Hammel's sixth, once again, two outs on the board and one runner on. Moss takes his 0-1 pitch and sails the two-seamer out right for his two-run home run to put the Cardinals ahead, 4-2. 

Diaz was 2-2/1 HR/2 RBI for his first night back since July 31. Matt Bowman followed for two scoreless innings and Kevin Siegrist, in to close for his second consecutive game. Cardinals closer Seung Hwan Oh is on the Day-to-Day DL with a groin strain injury. Siegrist did his job to earn his second save, handing Reyes his second major league win. Hammel is handed his ninth loss, his fourth in his last five starts. 

The Cardinals split the series with the Cubs. The rubber match will be today, with first pitch at 12:45 CST. Cardinals Carlos Martinez (14-7/3.05 ERA) will face Cubs Jon Lester (16-4/2.51 ERA). The Cardinals have been able to rattle Lester early at Busch Stadium. However, of late, Lester has been pretty solid in his starts and is 1-0 against the Cardinals this season. C Martinez is 1-2 facing the Cubs.  

This should be a great pitching duel. At Busch Stadium in my opinion, Martinez has the edge. 

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