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DENVER (AP) -- Adam Wainwright pitched effectively into the eighth after a shaky start and helped himself at the plate with three hits as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Colorado Rockies 4-3 on Wednesday night to expand their lead in the NL Central race.

Wainwright (17-9) gave up two runs in the first and then found his groove to earn his 17th win, second-most in the NL this season.

He went 3 for 3 with a double and two RBIs to help the Cardinals stretch their lead to two games over Pittsburgh after the Pirates lost 3-2 loss to San Diego. St. Louis also reduced its magic number for clinching a playoff spot to three with 10 games to play.

Tyler Chatwood (7-5) allowed four runs in six innings before being lifted for a pinch hitter. Chatwood is rounding back into form after missing nearly a month with an inflamed right elbow.

The hard-throwing Wainwright allowed 10 hits and struck out eight before running into a jam with two on and two outs in the eighth. Reliever Trevor Rosenthal got Charlie Blackmon to ground out to end the threat. Edward Mujica pitched his way out of a bases loaded mess in ninth for his 37th save in 40 chances. He struck out Todd Helton, who's retiring at the end of the season, to quiet the cheering crowd and end the game.

Michael Cuddyer remains the NL batting leader, keeping his average at .331 after going 1 for 3 on Wednesday. Cuddyer left the game shortly after making an inning-ending diving catch in the sixth. The team announced he was day-to-day with a bruised right forearm.

Cuddyer, a career .271 hitter entering this season, has a slight lead in the batting race over Atlanta's Chris Johnson (.327).

St. Louis solve Chatwood in the third, stringing together four straight hits to tie the game at 2-all. Wainwright had an RBI double and Matt Carpenter followed with a run-scoring single. Carpenter now has 67 RBIs from the leadoff spot, the most by a Cardinals player since Lou Brock had 76 in 1967.

The Cardinals took the lead for good in the fourth when Yadier Molina led off the inning with a double and was brought home by Wainwright's single. He now has five RBIs this season.

The Rockies began the game with four straight hits off Wainwright, including a two-run single by Troy Tulowitzki. That was certainly more offense than the Rockies had off Wainwright in May, when the Cardinals ace took a no-hitter into the eighth and finished with a two-hitter during a 3-0 victory.

Wainwright escaped more trouble in the first by getting Helton to hit into a 3-6-1 double play. Jordan Pacheco followed by lining out to Matt Adams to end the inning.

This is Helton's last hurrah after announcing he was calling it a career after 17 years. Manager Walt Weiss said he plans to start Helton in each of the remaining nine games.

"I'm going to play him as much as he's physically able to do it," Weiss said. "Give the fans an opportunity to see him."

Helton had a double in the sixth, the 587th of his career.

Notes: Cardinals RHP Joe Kelly (right calf tightness) hopes to be ready for his next start. "Personally, I think I can go," Kelly said. "It's just something that you don't want to go out there and not be 100 percent and mess it up worse." ... Adams left the game in the seventh with right elbow soreness. ... Broncos DBs Omar Bolden and Duke Ihenacho were on the field for batting practice before the game. ... Rockies OF Carlos Gonzalez is visiting a hand specialist in Cleveland about his sprained right middle finger.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013 23:08
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Washington got back to playing baseball and swept Atlanta to keep the Braves from clinching the NL East. Meanwhile, the AL wild-card race remained tight with Texas beating Tampa Bay. A quick look at baseball's playoff picture:

TIGHTENING RACE: Four of the six teams vying for the two AL wild-card berths squared off against a fellow contender Tuesday night. Texas topped Tampa Bay 7-1 to move into a tie with the Rays atop the wild-card chase. Cleveland moved a half-game out while Baltimore is now within two games. Kansas City and New York both lost, but are still in the hunt 3½ games back.

STAYING HOT: The Washington Nationals swept Atlanta in a day-night doubleheader to postpone the Braves' first NL East title since 2005. Washington has won 10 of its last 11 games to close within five games of Cincinnati for the NL's second wild-card berth. The first game was a makeup following shootings at the nearby Washington Navy Yard on Monday. Rookie Tanner Roark (7-0) remained unbeaten by allowing just two hits in seven shutout innings in the nightcap. Manager Davey Johnson even seemed to make up a word — "posure," apparently a cross between poise and composure — to describe his young star.

WELCOME BACK MATT: Matt Kemp went 4 for 4 with three RBIs in his first start since coming off the disabled list Monday to lead Los Angeles to an easy 9-3 rout of Arizona. With the victory, the Dodgers reduced their magic number to clinch the division to two. They can clinch the NL West with a win Wednesday.

LOST PERFECTION: Boston closer Koji Uehara saw his run of 37 consecutive batters retired come to an end as the Orioles rallied against the Red Sox's star closer. Danny Valencia ended that streak with a triple to lead off the ninth and Matt Wieters hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly to give Baltimore the 3-2 win. Uehara fell four outs short of Bobby Jenks' major league record for a reliever of 41 consecutive retired batters set in 2007 and Mark Buehrle's mark for all pitchers of 45 in 2009. The run was the first off Uehara in 30 2-3 innings and ended a streak of 27 scoreless outings since July 9.

SLUMPING PIRATES: Pittsburgh can't wait for San Diego to get out of town. The Padres beat the Pirates for the second straight night, improving to 30-10 in Pittsburgh since the new ballpark opened in 2001. Pittsburgh fell a game behind St. Louis, which routed Colorado 11-4 to take the NL Central lead.
Wednesday, 18 September 2013 06:56
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DENVER (AP) -- Matt Holliday had four hits, including a two-run homer, to help the St. Louis Cardinals take over sole possession of the NL Central with an 11-4 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night.

The Cardinals entered the night tied with the Pittsburgh Pirates, who lost 5-2 at home to San Diego. St. Louis reduced its magic number for clinching a playoff spot to five with 11 games remaining.

Joe Kelly (9-4) baffled the Rockies as he allowed three hits over five sharp innings before turning a 10-0 lead over to the bullpen. The hard-throwing right-hander has been one of the team's most consistent pitchers since becoming a permanent member of the rotation in July.

Juan Nicasio (8-8) struggled with his command, lasting just 2 2-3 innings and allowing eight runs, which tied a career high.

Holliday led an 18-hit night by the Cardinals, who had seven players with at least two hits. Holliday finished 4 for 4 with a walk, double and two-run homer against his former team. He drove in three runs and scored twice.

The Cardinals ran away with the game in the third when they sent 11 batters to the plate and scored six times. Daniel Descalso had a two-run triple in the decisive inning, while Holliday added a double and an RBI single.

Colorado's Michael Cuddyer finished 2 for 3 with a walk and an RBI to raise his average to.331, which is tops in the NL.

Kelly hardly seemed intimidated in his first start at Coors Field. He didn't allow a base runner to reach as far as third base until the fourth inning. He wiggled out of that jam when first baseman Matt Adams corralled Josh Rutledge's liner.

Once Kelly was out of the game, the Rockies went to work as they scored four runs off reliever Carlos Martinez in the seventh. But the bullpen shut down the Rockies from there, with Kevin Siegrist striking out pinch-hitter Jordan Pacheco to end the game.

Leadoff hitter Matt Carpenter was frequently on base for the Cardinals, with two singles and a hit by pitch. He leads the league hits (187), doubles (51) and multi-hit games (60).

Yadier Molina gave the Cardinals a lead in the first inning with a two-out single to center. Molina is one of the top hitters in the league with runners in scoring position.

Todd Helton nearly tied the game in the bottom half of the first, but Holliday made a leaping catch against the fence in left field.

The 40-year-old Helton announced last weekend his decision to retire after his 17th season with the Rockies. He leaves as the franchise's leader in virtually every offensive category.

NOTES: Kelly is 9-2 with a 2.14 ERA in 14 starts this season. ... The only Cardinals starter without one was OF Carlos Beltran. ... St. Louis will send RHP Adam Wainwright (16-9) to the mound on Wednesday, while the Rockies counter with RHP Tyler Chatwood (7-4). ... Rockies 3B Nolan Arenado missed the game after aggravating his right thumb on Monday. "He may be down for a few days," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said Tuesday. "His thumb is real tender." ... Rockies C Yorvit Torrealba replaced Wilin Rosario (right calf soreness) in the third inning.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013 23:30
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ST. LOUIS (AP) — Jeff Fisher says officiating mistakes were the biggest reason the St. Louis Rams fell short in their bid for a second comeback victory in as many games.

The Rams (1-1) had seven penalties for 53 yards in a 31-24 loss at Atlanta on Sunday.

After reviewing tape Monday, their coach said he wasn't concerned about the penalties because only two made by referee Scott Green's crew should have been called.

"I was upset after the ballgame, but looking at the tape those are incorrect calls," Fisher said.

"There were some other instances where there should have been some things called against our opponent that were not called, that could have created some situations for us."

Among others, Fisher judged that twice-whistled rookie Stedman Bailey had proper technique on calls for illegal block above the waist and offensive holding on special teams.

The call Fisher disliked most came on the third play of the game when defensive end Chris Long was penalized for offside after tackle Lamar Holmes moved. Fisher said it was an example of "False Start 101."

Instead of third-and-17 and a chance to give rookie punt returner Tavon Austin a chance to take off, it was third-and-7.

Matt Ryan hit Tony Gonzalez for an 11-yard gain and eight plays later they had the game's first score on an 8-yard pass to Steven Jackson.

"You get off the field, get the ball back," Fisher said. "You're also talking about field position and a young punt returner that's not backed up with his heels on the 8-yard line.

"He's got a chance to put his hands on the ball."

Fisher also thought officials missed an intentional grounding call on the Ryan out of the end zone in the third quarter. The Falcons had seven penalties for 53 yards.

Two calls Fisher thought the referees got right were holding on center Scott Wells in the third quarter and an illegal motion call on wide receiver Austin Pettis in the second quarter.

Softening the critique slightly, Fisher added: "By no means am I placing blame. I have great respect for the officiating department and the officials and work very close with them, and we move on."

The first Bailey penalty pushed the Rams back to their 11 in the second quarter, and the second one pushed them back to the 13. Fisher said those calls drove home the point not to rush to judgment "unless I see the act."

The Rams erased an 11-point deficit against Arizona in the opener. They trailed 21-0 early at Atlanta and twice cut the gap to a touchdown in the second half after going to a no-huddle, spread offense.

"I think it made a pretty big difference," quarterback Sam Bradford said. "It seemed to just put them on their heels a little bit."

So, there's no quit.

"We just eliminated the mistakes," tackle Jake Long said. "We just calmed down and started protecting, Sam was flinging the ball around and it was a little too late."

Officiating was far from the lone culprit, with miscues canceling out big plays.

Austin caught two touchdown passes, but dropped two passes and missed some other reads.

"I could have had some big plays but didn't," Austin said. "So I blame myself for that. I will correct it, it is something that definitely will be corrected."

Daryl Richardson's dropped pass was intercepted and returned for a touchdown and Janoris Jenkins got burned for Julio Jones' 81-yard score.

"I took my eye off of it," Richardson said. "I was looking to run and I need to make sure I eyeball that ball and catch it."

Fisher said he'd have more information Wednesday on the status of offensive tackle Rodger Saffold, who injured his left knee.

Backup safety Matt Daniels will undergo surgery this week for a fractured right ankle after kickoff returner Benny Cunningham rolled into him in the first quarter.

Monday, 16 September 2013 23:58
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DENVER (AP) -- Todd Helton started his final homestand with a key single in the eighth inning that helped the Colorado Rockies beat the St. Louis Cardinals 6-2 on Monday night.

Charlie Blackmon had three hits and drove in three runs for the Rockies, who prevented the Cardinals from taking over sole possession of first place in the NL Central. They remained tied with the Pittsburgh Pirates, who lost 2-0 to San Diego.

Matt Carpenter and Matt Adams had two hits each for the Cardinals.

Helton was playing in front of Colorado fans for the first time since he announced his plans to retire at the end of the season, his 17th. He received a standing ovation when he came to the plate in the first, and Cardinals starter Lance Lynn stood behind the mound and waited as the crowd saluted Helton.

The first baseman was given a loud ovation in each of his four plate appearances. His night started slow, but he had a big hit during the decisive rally.

Troy Tulowitzki led off with a walk against reliever Trevor Rosenthal (2-4), and one out later Helton singled to center to put runners at the corners. Wilin Rosario singled to give Colorado a 3-2 lead.

Helton was caught in a rundown between third and home for the second out, but Blackmon doubled to right to score Josh Rutledge from first to make it 4-2.

Pinch-hitter Ryan Wheeler's two-run single off John Axford gave the Rockies a 6-2 cushion.

Collin McHugh started for Colorado in place of lefty Jorge De La Rosa, who has a sore thumb on his pitching hand that forced him to miss his turn in the rotation. McHugh allowed one run on four hits, with the only damage coming on David Freese's RBI single in the fifth.

He left after throwing 75 pitches in five innings.

Lynn stuck around longer and got stronger as the game progressed. He scattered four hits through six innings and didn't let a runner past first after Tulowitzki's double before running into trouble in the seventh.

After Lynn retired Helton in a nine-pitch at-bat, Rosario singled and moved to third on Rutledge's bloop single to right.

Left-hander Kevin Siegrist relieved Lynn, and Blackmon lined an RBI single over the pulled-in infield to give the Rockies a 2-1 lead.

The Cardinals tied it in the eighth on Carpenter's RBI double off Chad Bettis (1-3) that scored pinch-runner Pete Kozma from second.

The Rockies took a 1-0 lead in the first on Tulowitzki's RBI double.

NOTES: Rockies OF Carlos Gonzalez will see a hand specialist in Cleveland this week to see if he needs surgery on his injured right middle finger. "It looks like I'm going to," Gonzalez said. "I think that's what is best for my finger right now. I'm thinking about the future. I don't want to continue to deal with the same pain over and over. If that's what I have to do, I'm going to do it." ... The Rockies made a donation to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund as the area recovers from devastating flooding. ... Cardinals OF Matt Holliday entered Monday hitting .358 against his former team.

Monday, 16 September 2013 23:55
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ATLANTA (AP) — With so many teammates hurting, Julio Jones had to play an even bigger role for the Atlanta Falcons.

He was up to the task.

Jones matched the best game of his career with 182 yards receiving, including an 81-yard touchdown catch, and the Atlanta Falcons held on for their first win of the season, 31-24 over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday.

"I know the other guys on the field are counting on me to make those plays when the ball comes my way," Jones said.

Matt Ryan threw for 374 yards and two scores despite taking quite a beating behind the Falcons' shaky offense line. Jason Snelling clinched it for the Falcons (1-1) with an 11-yard touchdown run with 6:12 remaining, Atlanta's longest play of the day on the ground.

There were plenty of flaws in the Falcons' performance — hardly any running game, a lack of protection for Ryan, not much pressure on Rams quarterback Sam Bradford — but they'll take it considering all the players who went down.

Five starters were done by halftime: running back Steven Jackson (thigh), linebacker Sean Weatherspoon (foot), defensive end Kroy Biermann (right ankle), cornerback Asante Samuel (thigh) and fullback Bradie Ewing (shoulder).

"While you don't want see anybody go down, nobody panicked, nobody blinked," said Ryan, who was sacked twice and hit eight times after throwing. "We just stayed the course."

The Rams (1-1) fell behind 21-0 when Osi Umenyiora returned an interception 68 yards for a touchdown. Atlanta led 24-3 at halftime before St. Louis fought back on a pair of short touchdown passes by Bradford, who finished with 352 yards and three TDs.

Jones matched the best performance of his career; he also put up 182 yards receiving in last season's NFC championship game.

"Julio and Matt seemed to be in sync," coach Mike Smith said. "They were seeing the defense the same way."

Atlanta turned in the drive it needed to clinch it, throwing on eight straight plays before Snelling's TD run. St. Louis scored again with 2:09 left when Bradford connected with Tavon Austin for their second scoring play of the game. But the Falcons managed to run out the clock.

"We ran with them all day," Rams defensive end Robert Quinn said. "We just needed to make a few players earlier in the game."

The Falcons escaped with a victory they absolutely had to have if they wanted to show they are a legitimate Super Bowl contender, avoiding their first losing streak since 2009. They have now won 13 straight coming off a loss.

Jackson, facing the team he played with the last nine years, capped Atlanta's opening drive with an 8-yard touchdown catch, but the celebration was short-lived. Apparently injured when he stretched for the goal line, he walked slowly to the locker room and didn't return.

Then it was Jones beating Janoris Jenkins in man-to-man coverage, breaking free down the middle for the longest reception of his career to make it 14-0. Umenyiora extended the lead when he picked off a deflected pass and showed surprising speed in front of the Rams bench. He then staggered to the sideline, smiling, and grabbed an oxygen mask.

The Rams could've folded. Instead, they really began teeing off on Ryan in the second half. While the Atlanta offense bogged down, Austin hauled in a 6-yard scoring pass late in the third, and Austin Pettis' 3-yard TD catch made it 24-17 with just under 12 minutes remaining.

Atlanta turned to Jones to clinch it. He hauled in a short pass and broke free on a 22-yard play. Then, on third-and-3 at the Rams 40, Ryan rolled to his left away from pressure and lobbed a pass that Jones leaped up to grab for an 18-yard gain.

Three players later, Snelling ran it in.

"We never believe we're out of the game until the clock says zero," Quinn said. "We just fell a play or two short."

NOTES: The Falcons had 1 yard rushing in the first half and finished with 36 yards on 16 carries. ... Rams WR Chris Givens had five catches for 105 yards. ... Falcons WR Roddy White played but was still slowed by a high ankle sprain. He had three catches for 21 yards. ... Atlanta P Matt Bosher made a huge play at the end of the third quarter, leaping up to grab a high snap in his own end zone. He then got off a wobbly punt that rolled for 63 yards.

Sunday, 15 September 2013 18:31
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ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Yadier Molina broke out of a slump with a home run and three singles as Shelby Miller and the St. Louis Cardinals remained tied for first place in the NL Central with a 12-2 win Sunday over the Seattle Mariners.

Matt Adams also homered as St. Louis won for the seventh time in nine games and kept pace with Pittsburgh. Both teams are 87-62 with 13 games remaining.

Miller (14-9) gave up one earned run and three hits in five innings. He became the first St. Louis rookie to reach 14 wins in a season since Dick Hughes won 16 in 1967.

Molina's second-inning homer off Erasmo Ramirez (5-2) snapped an 0-for-15 skid. Molina scored three times and raised his batting average to .317.

St. Louis got 19 hits after totaling just three runs on seven hits over the first two games of the series.

The Cardinals batted around in the fourth and fifth, scoring four runs in each inning to hand Seattle its sixth loss in seven games.

Matt Carpenter keyed the fourth-inning burst with a two-run, bases-loaded single. Daniel Descalso and Matt Holliday also had RBI hits in the inning.

Holliday and Carpenter finished with three hits and two RBIs two apiece.

Adams pushed the lead to 7-2 with his 14th homer to highlight the fifth.

NOTES: The Cardinals open a seven-game road trip on Monday at Colorado. Lance Lynn (13-10, 4.23) will face Jorge De La Rosa (16-6, 3.49) in the first of a four-game set. ... Seattle continues its 10-game road trip with four games in Detroit. Joe Saunders (11-14, 5.18) takes on Rick Porcello (12-8, 4.56) in the opener. ... St. Louis INF Brock Peterson grounded out in the fifth inning to extend his skid to 0 for 14. ... St. Louis C Audry Perez made his debut in the eighth inning.

 
Sunday, 15 September 2013 18:27
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ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Rookie James Paxton gave up two hits in six shutout innings and the Seattle Mariners ended a five-game losing streak, beating St. Louis 4-1 Saturday night and dropping the Cardinals into a first-place tie in the NL Central.

St. Louis and Pittsburgh share the division lead once again. The Pirates topped the Cubs 2-1.

The Cardinals mustered only three hits, including Matt Carpenter's league-leading 50th double in the eighth. He later scored on a wild pitch by Charlie Furbush.

Franklin Gutierrez hit a two-run double in the fifth inning that ended St. Louis rookie Michael Wacha's scoreless streak at 23 2-3 innings. Kendrys Morales hit his 22nd homer in eighth off Tyler Lyons to make it 3-0.

The St. Louis hitters have been struggling all week, and they never got going at all against the 24-year-old Paxton (2-0), who limited them to a pair of singles.

The first was by Wacha (3-1) in the third when Paxton came off the bag to field a tapper and then slipped and fell, losing his grip.

The Cardinals managed three hits in seven scoreless innings to start the weekend series against the Mariners before winning 2-1 in 10 innings. They broke up no-hit bids in the sixth against Wily Peralta and Marco Estrada, winning both games while taking two of three from the Brewers.

Paxton struck out five and walked two. He won his major league debut a week ago against Tampa Bay, allowing an earned run in six innings.

Danny Farquhar finished for his 14th save in 16 chances.

Wacha struck out five in his seventh career start but also walked four in five innings.

Mariners pitchers were 0 for 20 with 13 strikeouts at the plate this year before Wacha walked Paxton on four pitches in the fifth to put runners on first and second with none out, setting up Gutierrez's double.

Seattle leadoff man Brad Miller was removed with a mild left hamstring strain after running out a sacrifice bunt in the fifth. Replacement Carlos Triunfel had a sacrifice fly in the ninth off Fernando Salas.

NOTES: Yadier Molina, who threw out two runners attempting to steal in the same inning Friday, was the first Cardinals C to do that since manager Mike Matheny on May 1, 2001, at Florida. Matheny said he didn't remember the occasion, but added, "You don't normally get that many opportunities unless you're stinking, or else your pitcher's just giving you no chance."

Saturday, 14 September 2013 22:49
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ATLANTA (AP) — Steven Jackson always wondered how the other half lived.

Spending his first nine seasons with the St. Louis Rams, he put up some impressive numbers individually but made only one trip to the playoffs — as a rookie. He never played on a winning team, which really started to wear on him in the end.

"When you're not on national television a lot, some of the things you've done over the years can get overlooked easily," said Jackson, a three-time Pro Bowler who has rushed for more than 10,000 yards. "You can only have so much individual success to kind of pacify you through your career."

So, with St. Louis looking to go younger in the backfield, Jackson moved on to the Atlanta Falcons, who came oh-so-close to making the Super Bowl last season.

Well, look who he'll be facing in Week 2 with his new team.

Yep, the Rams (1-0), who are trying to build on their first season-opening victory since 2006.

"I was on the outside,' Jackson said. "Now, being on the inside and seeing what a good team looks like, I saw what I was missing. I'm happy to be given this opportunity."

Atlanta (0-1) dropped its opener at New Orleans, the bid for a game-winning touchdown stopped on fourth down at the Saints 3 with less than a minute remaining.

But Jackson turned in the sort of all-around performance the Falcons were looking for when they signed him to replace Michael Turner, rushing 11 times for 77 yards and catching five passes for 45 yards.

At age 30, he's still got game — and the respect of his former team.

"Obviously, Jack was a huge part of me growing up," Rams quarterback Sam Bradford said. "I learned most how to be a leader. I watched the way he handled himself in different situations in the locker room, on the field, in practice, during games. I learned a ton from Jack. I really couldn't imagine having to start my career here without him."

So, with much of the attention on Jackson facing his former team, here are five other things to look for when the Falcons host the Rams on Sunday:

___

PROTECTING THE QB: Bradford hasn't been sacked in three straight games going back to last season, the first time the Rams have done that since 1973. Contrast that with the Falcons, who have only two offensive line starters at the same positions as last season. That lack of continuity showed throughout the preseason and in Week 1, when Matt Ryan was sacked three times and hurried on many more throws. The Rams will be looking to tee off on Ryan after getting four sacks in their opener.

RODDY'S ANKLE: Falcons WR Roddy White has played in 129 consecutive games, tied for the fourth-longest streak in franchise history, but he's been bothered by a high ankle sprain since the preseason. White was clearly not at full strength in the opener, catching only two passes for 19 yards. If he's still hobbled, the Rams can slide their coverages toward WR Julio Jones and TE Tony Gonzalez.

COOKING UP A RECORD: Jared Cook had quite a debut with the Rams, setting a franchise record for receiving yards by a tight end with 141 on seven catches. He also had a pair of touchdowns, giving the Falcons defense another dynamic tight end to account for after facing Jimmy Graham of the Saints.

ROOKIE CORNERS: Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford had to play key roles in the Atlanta secondary with Asante Samuel sidelined by an injury in Week 1. They both held up well against Drew Brees and the high-powered Saints. Alford had an interception and broke up two passes, while Trufant also knocked away a throw. The Falcons are hoping to get Samuel back, but Trufant remains a starter and Alford should continue getting extensive playing time.

BOUNCING BACK: The Falcons haven't had a losing streak since 2009. They are 20-3 after losses under coach Mike Smith and riding a 12-game winning streak in those situations. The Rams have their work cut out for them — especially playing at the Georgia Dome, where the Falcons are 33-7 in the regular season over the last five years.

Friday, 13 September 2013 23:29
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ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis Rams defensive end Chris Long did not practice and coach Jeff Fisher says he's questionable for Sunday's game at Atlanta with hip soreness.

Long, the second overall pick in 2008, has posted double-digit sack totals the last two seasons and has played in 81 consecutive games, the third-longest streak among defensive ends. He was limited on Thursday.

Also on the injury report Friday were cornerback Quinton Porter, ruled out with a thigh injury, and safety Darian Stewart was doubtful.

Friday, 13 September 2013 23:27
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