The Norman Transcript

National Sports

September 30, 2013

Cardinals clinch home-field advantage in NL

(Continued)

ST. LOUIS —

The Cubs, who lost 41 of their last 59 games, finish last in the Central at 66-96.

Chicago manager Dale Sveum, who is scheduled to meet Monday with Cubs management to discuss his future, says a lack of offense hurt his club the last month.

“We didn’t score a lot,” he said. “When you’re facing the Cardinals, Reds, Pirates, Atlanta, it’s going to be tough.”

St. Louis starter Jake Westbrook pitched one inning before Kelly came on in relief. Westbrook is not likely to be on the postseason roster and the Cardinals are not expected to pick up his option for next season.

Kelly struck out five in his first relief appearance since re-joining the starting rotation on July 6.

“It was a little different, but my mindset was the same the whole time,” Kelly said. “I felt like I was commanding my fastball on both sides of the plate. I was just trying to keep a high level of focus and attack these guys.”

Matheny called it, “one of his best all-around outings.”

Randy Choate, Carlos Martinez and Kevin Siegrist contributed to the five-man, five-hit shutout.

The Cardinals scored twice in the fourth off Chicago starter Jeff Samardzija (8-13) to take a 3-0 lead. Matt Adams and Descalso hit back-to-back doubles to push the advantage to 2-0. Robinson followed with a run-scoring single.

Samardzija gave up three runs on eight hits in six innings.

“I had a strong year, I felt good,” Samardzija said. “I pitched every start, threw a lot of innings and had a lot of strikeouts.”

Jay, who drove in a run with a single in the third, extended his hitting streak to a career-high 14 games with a single in the first.

St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina took the field to start the game, but was removed before the first pitch. Molina received a standing ovation as he walked to the dugout. Right fielder Carlos Beltran was taken out at the start of the fifth inning and also left to a loud applause.

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