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ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Just a few days ago, the St. Louis Cardinals had no wins when trailing after eight innings and just one extra-inning victory.

They certainly showed the Pittsburgh Pirates they can go the extra mile.

"We did a good job of bouncing back," said Matt Holliday, who hit a game-ending RBI single in the 12th inning of St. Louis' 6-5 victory over Pittsburgh on Thursday. "Winning this game could be very important for us."

Matt Carpenter had four hits and scored the winning run in the Cardinals' second extra-inning triumph over the NL Central leaders in three days.

"Anytime having a walk-off win, it's a big deal," manager Mike Matheny said. "Jumping on it again it today is just the resiliency of this club.

"You could sense it on the bench. The guys weren't going to give in, weren't going to stop pushing."

The Cardinals took two of three in the series to pull within two games of the sagging Pirates, who have dropped five of six. St. Louis won 4-3 in 14 innings in the opener on Tuesday night.

"We had a number of guys that had opportunities," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "The great thing about what we're going through is the challenge and opportunities we're all getting.

"It's playoff atmosphere baseball."

The Cardinals lost the division lead when they dropped four of five in Pittsburgh from July 29-Aug. 1.

Rookie Kevin Siegrist (1-1), St. Louis' seventh pitcher, struck out two in a perfect 12th against the heart of the order.

Russell Martin and Clint Barmes homered for Pittsburgh, which blew a 4-0 lead in one inning. Jose Tabata had three straight hits after entering as a pinch hitter.

Carpenter sparked the winning rally with a one-out walk. He went to third on Jon Jay's single before Holliday grounded a single up the middle off Bryan Morris (5-6).

Carpenter, the Cardinals' leadoff man, leads the National League with 48 multihit games and 40 doubles. He entered with league-leading averages of .366 at home and .367 in day games.

Holliday also had an RBI double and is batting .452 during a 12-game hitting streak.

Martin hit a tying leadoff drive off Trevor Rosenthal in the eighth, handing the setup man his second blown save of St. Louis' 4-6 homestand.

The Pirates hit for the cycle against Lance Lynn in a four-run fifth that featured rookie Andrew Lambo's first hit and RBI on a double and Barmes' two-run homer. The Cardinals responded by knocking out A.J. Burnett with five runs in the bottom half on a two-run single by Daniel Descalso and RBIs in consecutive at-bats from Carpenter, Jon Jay and Holliday.

"As good as it looked early, it's never easy against this group," Burnett said. "They figured me out early."

Both managers put a heavy stamp on the game. Hurdle hit for two regulars in the sixth and emptied his bench, and Matheny used three relievers in the sixth and seventh.

St. Louis activated All-Star catcher Yadier Molina from the 15-day disabled list, and he announced his presence almost immediately. He threw out Starling Marte trying to steal third to end the first.

NOTES: The Pirates begin a three-game homestand Friday against the Diamondbacks. Pittsburgh rookie Gerrit Cole (5-5, 3.95 ERA), who opposes Brandon McCarthy (2-6, 4.73 ERA) in the opener, has lost five of his last six decisions. ... The Cardinals open a three-game series at Chicago, with St. Louis' Jake Westbrook (7-7, 4.11 ERA) opposing minor league callup Jake Arrieta. It will be Westbrook's first appearance since giving up nine runs in 4 2-3 innings of relief on three days' rest after Shelby Miller was knocked out by a liner off his elbow on his second pitch of the game. ... Cardinals reliever Seth Maness, who grounded into a double play and struck out to strand five runners Tuesday night, got his first career hit in the sixth. ... Pirates reliever Tony Watson worked three scoreless innings and retired the heart of the order in the 10th.

Friday, 16 August 2013 07:52
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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri coach Gary Pinkel is going with senior James Franklin to start at quarterback for the Tigers.

Pinkel said Franklin, who was dogged by injuries last season, beat out redshirt freshman Maty Mauk for the job. He felt it was important to make an announcement well ahead of the Aug. 31 opener against Murray State.

"James has shown that he's very capable of leading this team at a high level, and we fully expect him to do that," Pinkel said Thursday night in a release. "He's really developed as a leader of this offense, and of this team, and we feel he's ready to be the difference-maker he was before all of the health challenges he dealt with last season."

Pinkel added the coaching staff is considering giving Mauk planned series in games to give him experience. Sophomore Corbin Berkstresser started four games last year when Franklin was sidelined and also had been in the competition.

Three former Missouri quarterbacks are in the NFL. Franklin is among those who got regular work as the backup, seeing limited playing time in 2010 behind Blaine Gabbert, now with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Future Heisman Trophy finalist and New Orleans Saints backup Chase Daniel got his feet wet backing up Brad Smith, a longtime wide receiver in the NFL.

"We have a history with that, and it's something that has worked very well for us," Pinkel said.

Franklin opened fall workouts atop the depth chart and was named one of four captains on the first day of practice. Pinkel emphasized repeatedly at that point that the honor did not guarantee the starting job.

Injuries to Franklin were among the disappointments last year as Missouri went 5-7, ending a string of eight consecutive bowl appearances.

Franklin had 10 touchdown passes and seven interceptions last season, and rushed for 116 yards and two scores. In 2011, he had 21 touchdown passes with 11 interceptions, and rushed for 981 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Friday, 16 August 2013 07:50
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COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (AP) -- Calling it a historic moment, Commissioner Bud Selig said Thursday that Major League Baseball plans to expand its video review process next season, giving managers a tool they've never had in an effort to dramatically reduce the number of incorrect calls made in games.

Selig made the announcement after two days of meetings with representatives of the 30 teams. The proposal is to be voted on by the owners in November.

"I'm proud of them," Selig said about the replay committee. "It's worked out remarkably well. It's historic. There's no question about it."

A 75 percent vote by the owners is needed for approval, and the players' association and umpires would have to agree to any changes to the current system. But the announcement was met with mostly praise at ballparks across the country.

"This is the time. It's time to make the right decision," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "It was not available several years ago. So, just live with it, understand it. It makes things better. It makes things more accurate, so what's wrong with that."

MLB executive vice president Joe Torre gave the replay presentation to representatives from all 30 teams Wednesday and it was discussed Thursday morning.

Atlanta Braves President John Schuerholz, a member of the replay committee along with Torre and former manager Tony La Russa, said the umpires were receptive to the change. Schuerholz said 89 percent of incorrect calls made in the past will be reviewable, but he did not provide a list.

Umpires have come under increased scrutiny following several missed calls this season.

"We believe this will be very impactful and very, very meaningful and useful for all sides," Schuerholz said. "Managers will have a new tool that they'll have to learn how to use."

Managers will be allowed one challenge over the first six innings of a game and two from the seventh inning until the completion of the game. Calls that are challenged will be reviewed by a crew in MLB headquarters in New York City, which will make a final ruling.

A manager who sees a call he feels is incorrect can file a challenge with the crew chief or home plate umpire. Only reviewable plays can be challenged. Non-reviewable plays can still be argued by managers, who can request that the umpires discuss it to see if another member of the crew saw the play differently. Reviewable plays cannot be argued by the manager.

Challenges not used in the first six innings will not carry over, and a manager who wins a challenge will retain it.

The home run replay rules currently in use will be grandfathered in to the new system, Schuerholz said.

MLB expects to use the new system in the 2014 playoffs, and the system could be enhanced in the postseason. Training sessions for umpires will start in the Arizona Fall League this winter and continue into spring training.

"We know we have to prepare people for this," Schuerholz said. "Everyone is embracing it. We believe managers will in time."

Schuerholz said after the first year MLB will look at what worked and what didn't and make adjustments for 2015. "It's going to take some time," he said.

One of Selig's major concerns was the possible slowing of games. Schuerholz said with a direct line of communication between the central office and the ballparks the expectation is that replays under the new system will take 1 minute, 15 seconds. Current replays average just over 3 minutes.

"We want to prevent stalling," Schuerholz said. "If it's a reviewable play, he (the manager) has to tell the umpires he's going to review it."

In other matters, Selig said baseball's investigation of Biogenesis, the now-closed Florida anti-aging clinic accused of distributing banned performance-enhancing drugs, has been completed.

Alex Rodriguez was suspended through 2014 and All-Stars Nelson Cruz, Jhonny Peralta and Everth Cabrera were banned 50 games apiece on Aug. 5 when Major League Baseball disciplined 13 players for their relationship to Biogenesis. Rodriguez has appealed his suspension.

Selig also called the Tampa Bay Rays stadium situation "very, very discouraging."

"Baseball needs a resolution to this problem," Selig said with Stuart Sternberg, principal owner of the Rays, in the room listening. "I find it a very, very troubling situation. We were optimistic this was moving in a very positive direction. Unfortunately, it's stalled."

Selig said the situation was serious enough that he was giving "very strong consideration to assigning someone from MLB to intervene in this process, find out exactly what the hell is going on."

"They've been a model organization, extraordinarily capable," Selig said. "They've done everything in their power to make their ballpark situation work. Years have ticked by now with no tangible progress."

The team is obligated to play at outdated Tropicana Field through 2027 and is averaging just over 13,000 fans a game this season. The low attendance figures have led to the Rays receiving millions of dollars in revenue sharing.

"Without that, we wouldn't be able to compete," Sternberg said. "The other owners are looking at it. How many years is this going to be? How much money is it going to be? We should be able to get to the point where the revenue sharing dollars we would receive don't need to be so significant year in and year out."

Relocating is not on the table, Sternberg said.

"Frankly, I haven't been able to get this (new stadium deal) done," Sternberg said. "Something needs to be done and nothing's happening. We've got an enormous following, but something is clearly stopping people from coming through our doors. This isn't a one- or two-year thing. Even the economy has picked up a bit and our attendance has gone down."

Friday, 16 August 2013 07:47
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   Authorities say dozens of people face drug or weapons charges as part of a crackdown in parts of the metro-east that the St. Clair County prosecutor says are "in a state of lawlessness."  

   State's Attorney Brendan Kelly says most of the more than 50 people charged are from East St. Louis, Washington Park, Alorton and Cahokia.  The three-month investigation, dubbed "Operation Wild, Wild East" was funded by a federal grant overseen by Illinois State Police.  

   Kelly says the communities where the alleged offenses took place don't have enough policing, and that laws simply aren't being enforced.  

Friday, 16 August 2013 04:38
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