ST. LOUIS -- John Lackey still isnt happy about getting pushed back in the rotation. After powering back into the St. Louis post-season pitching picture with 7 2-3 dominant innings in a 2-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Friday night, the veteran right-hander grudgingly admitted extra rest might have been a good thing. "Yeah, I guess it helped," Lackey said after a pause. "Well go with that." Asked whether he had his best stuff, Lackey fired back a fastball. "Since when? Since ever? No, not even close," Lackey said. "I definitely felt better than I have in a couple weeks, for sure." Randal Grichuk and Matt Holliday hit consecutive homers in the first for the NL Central leaders, who had only five hits but maintained a 2 1-2-game lead over the Pittsburgh Pirates with eight games remaining. The Cardinals magic number is seven for clinching a second straight division title and two over third-place Milwaukee for securing a fourth straight post-season berth. St. Louis is 6-1 on its final nine-game homestand. Lackey (14-9) was passed over in the just-completed three-game series against Milwaukee after complaining of a dead arm. The 35-year-old right-hander arrived at the trade deadline with a big-game reputation and noted after beating Cincinnati, "I think thats why Im here." But he was 2-2 with a 5.05 ERA in his first eight starts. Lackey was especially well-rested for the sagging Reds, considering he was ejected in the third inning of his previous outing Sept. 10 at Cincinnati. The Cardinals jumped on rookie lefty Mike Holmberg (1-2) early. With one out in the first, Grichuk lined an 0-2 pitch into the visitors bullpen in left. Three pitches later, Holliday lined his 19th over the centre field wall. Centre fielder Jon Jay helped keep the Reds down, twice robbing Ryan Ludwick of extra bases with leaping catches at the wall. The first catch came one at-bat before Zack Cozarts RBI single in the second. "This ballpark plays bigger now, the colder it gets," Jay said. "I knew on both of those balls I was going to have a chance." Cozart was thrown out at second, and the call was confirmed by replay after the Reds appealed. Holmberg allowed three hits the rest of his six innings in his fourth start of the year and second appearance this month against St. Louis. He worked 5 2-3 innings against the Cardinals on Sept. 8 after replacing injured Dylan Axelrod after one batter. The Cardinals have 101 homers, second-fewest in the majors ahead of only the cross-state Royals. They have gone back-to-back just twice, the other on July 5 when Allen Craig and Jhonny Peralta connected against Miami. Lackey was the eighth straight starter to allow no more than one earned run, but lately the margin has been thin. The Cardinals have totalled nine runs while winning three of the last four, two of those games lasting a combined seven extra innings. After Trevor Rosenthal was pulled with two on and one out in the ninth, Randy Choate struck out Jay Bruce and Seth Maness, and retired Ryan Ludwick for his third save in three chances. The Reds, who have lost five in a row, fell to 22-38 in one-run decisions. They lead the majors in one-run losses. "Its a broken record," manager Bryan Price said. "To be honest with you, its at the point where youre tired talking about the same game, losing 2-1, 3-2. "At some point in time weve got to do something to win some of these games." The Cardinals are 47-24 against the Reds at 9-year-old Busch Stadium. UP NEXT: Reds: Mike Leake (11-12, 3.65) needs one strikeout for 600. He has been victimized by a team-high five blown saves. He is 2-1 in four starts this year against St. Louis. Cardinals: Michael Wacha (5-6, 3.14) makes his first start since Sept. 9 and likely will be on a limited pitch count. He is 1-1 with a 3.24 ERA in three starts against the Reds this year. TRAINERS ROOM: Reds: Joey Votto (left knee) is on the trip but is running out of time to play. He has missed 91 games during two stints on the DL. Cardinals: Shelby Miller took a one-hop liner off his right ankle in the sixth inning and was taken out as a precaution. Though sporting a nasty bruise, tests showed nothing serious. STREAK ENDS: Reds 2B Brandon Phillips 107-game errorless streak, a franchise record for his position, ended when he threw wide to first on Jon Jays grounder in the second. Jerami Grant Jersey
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. Price also posted the longest shutout sequence since 1960 at 164:19 minutes. He stopped a combined 55 shots in Canadas final two games and 70 of 71 shots in Canadas three elimination games, allowing only a breakaway goal to Lauris Darzins of Latvia. For his efforts, Price was named best goalkeeper by the tournament directorate. Prices outstanding play is marred only by the extremely strong defensive play of Canadas top six defencemen; Shea Weber, Duncan Keith, Drew Doughty, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Alex Pietrangelo and Jay Bouwmeester. LOS ANGELES -- NBA players strongly considered boycotting playoff games if Commissioner Adam Silver hadnt ruled harshly against Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. Players union Vice-President Roger Mason Jr. said Tuesday he spoke to representatives from every playoff team about the possibility of boycotting the upcoming post-season games in solidarity against any ruling that didnt include a mandate for Sterling to sell the Clippers. "We didnt want to jump to conclusions, but we were prepared that if this decision came down, we were prepared to move forward that way," Mason said. "We didnt think that this was just a Clippers issue, so we didnt want to put the pressure on Chris Paul and Blake Griffin and that team. We wanted to band behind our brothers to do the right thing." The Clippers host the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night, one of three playoff games on the NBA schedule. Three more are scheduled for Wednesday. Before Game 5 on Tuesday night, Clippers coach Doc Rivers said he wasnt certain his players had formally discussed a boycott. He thought the Clippers instead were just hoping for a suitable response from Silver. "I think they had the trust that there would be," Rivers said. "Im glad we dont have to find out." The Clippers and Warriors wwerent made available to reporters before Game 5.dddddddddddd. Mason believes every team would have embraced a boycott, and the veteran guard said Silver was made aware of the possibility of the unprecedented move by Kevin Johnson, the Sacramento mayor and former NBA player who is advising the union on the issue. "I spoke to (Warriors forward) Jermaine ONeal, and he pretty much said that their team would be on board," Mason said. During a news conference at Los Angeles City Hall, several current and former players proclaimed their support for Silvers decision. Sterling was fined $2.5 million and banned from the NBA for life for racist comments made in a recorded conversation. Silver also said he will urge the NBAs board of governors to compel Sterling to sell the Clippers. "We were very clear that anything other than Sterling selling his team was not going to be enough for us," Mason said. Mason said the players arent yet completely satisfied. They want a concrete timetable for the board governors vote necessary to force Sterling to sell his team. But Mason is confident the other NBA owners will vote to force Sterling to sell. "I know a lot of the owners personally from spending time in negotiations, and I would be shocked if it wasnt unanimous," Mason said. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys
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