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HOUSTON (AP) — After St. Louis was swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers in late August, Cardinals manager Tony La Russa thought his team would fall short of the postseason once again.
Less than a month later, the Cardinals are tied with Atlanta for the NL wild-card lead.
Pinch-hitter Ryan Theriot delivered a tiebreaking two-run triple in the seventh inning, leading St. Louis to a 13-6 victory over the Houston Astros on Tuesday night.
The sliding Braves lost 7-1 to Philadelphia, sending the race for the NL’s final playoff spot to the last day of the regular season. If the teams are tied after Wednesday’s game, St. Louis will host a one-game playoff on Thursday night.
“Yeah, when we got swept by the Dodgers,” La Russa said when asked if he doubted his team could make such a run. “When I saw our schedule I said: ‘We could finish under .500 if we don’t start getting it back together.’ And we did.”
St. Louis has won 21 of 29 games since that sweep, moving to the brink of what not so long ago seemed like an improbable goal.
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