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Jon Lester makes Cardinals history en route to impressive outing at Reds

Jon Lester makes Cardinals history en route to impressive outing at Reds

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Jon Lester came up big for the Cardinals when they needed him most on the road against the Cincinnati Reds, who they currently trail in the NL Wild Card race.

Lester was a low-risk acquisition at the MLB Trade Deadline. While the deal had mixed returns early on, as Lester struggled his first few outings as a Cardinal, one start alone proved what St. Louis saw in him to begin with.

Despite not nearly being the pitcher he once was, the cagey veteran has plenty of big-game potential. Lester went six-plus innings of one-run ball against the Reds on Monday night.

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In the process, Lester retired 16 straight batters — the first Cardinals pitcher 37 years or older to do so since 2002.

St. Louis Cardinals: Jon Lester proving he belongs down the stretch

The Cardinals rotation leaves plenty to be desired right now, leaning on Adam Wainwright and Kwang Hyun Kim with Jack Flaherty on the injured list. Because of this, Lester is called upon in critical situations, as he has been in the past but not as much recently.

With the Cardinals narrowing the Wild Card gap to 2.5 games with two games remaining in their series against the Reds, Mike Shildt is confident as ever in his group:

“I do feel like we ultimately are in a really strong mental mindset,” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said before the game. “We ultimately just play ourselves. We’re going to prepare for our opponent. We’re going to respect our opponent. Ultimately, it’s about our execution. We execute good at-bats and play [good] defense, I feel good about our chances.”

Alex Reyes got the night off after struggling the past few weeks. Instead of going to their once-steady closer, the trio of Giovanny Gallegos, Luis Garcia and TJ McFarland locked down the final two-plus innings after Lester was removed.

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