St. Louis Cardinals beat Cincinnati Reds, drop Magic Number to 1

With the Los Angeles Dodgers playing the San Francisco Giants on the West Coast, the St. Louis Cardinals put themselves within one win of clinching a berth in the NL Wild Card play-in game Monday night, beating the Cincinnati Reds 4-2. Jaime Garcia managed simultaneously to win a crucial game and confirm peoples' negative impressions of him, going six-plus innings, allowing two runs, and hitting a solo homer while at Busch Stadium.

Allen Craig, Yadier Molina, and Daniel Descalso drove in the other three runs for the Cardinals, who won in spite of Pete Kozma reaching base just once. Scott Rolen doubled and Brandon Phillips had an RBI and got booed a lot for the Reds, who fall to 96-64 on the season.

With two games to go, the Cardinals are a win or a Dodgers loss away from clinching the chance to play a much more nerve-racking game against the Atlanta Braves for the chance to play in the NLDS. They'll send Chris Carpenter out to face Mat Latos Tuesday night. When reached for comment, Chris Carpenter screamed unintelligibly into the receiver for like an hour.

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