How sweet it is! Suga Shane helps Cards earn first sweep of the season
MAY 22, 2014 11:43p ET
ST. LOUIS -- Welcome back, Shane Robinson.
The outfielder was recalled from Triple-A Memphis on Wednesday and had three hits, two RBIs and a run scored in the Cardinals' 4-2 win against the Diamondbacks on Thursday night at Busch Stadium.
"It was a good feeling to be able to get in there early and help out the club and get a win tonight," Robinson said.
The outfielder, who started in right field and batted seventh in the lineup, had a single in the second inning, grounded into a fielder's choice in the fourth, hit a two-out, two-run double in the sixth and had a single and scored a run in the eighth.
Robinson's triumphant return helped the Cardinals (26-21) earn a three-game sweep against the Diamondbacks -- their first sweep of the season -- and secure a 7-2 homestand.
"He's a good player all the way around, the way he goes about the game," manager Mike Matheny said. "It's nice to see him go get some work in Triple A and come back and be able to get an opportunity to show what he's been doing."
Robinson was sent down to Memphis on April 27 after opening the season with just two hits in his first 21 at-bats with the Cardinals.
But he performed well with regular playing time in Triple A, batting .371 with a .443 on-base percentage and 12 runs scored in 18 games before being recalled.
"My swing feels pretty good right now," Robinson said.
He hit .524 (11 hits in 21 at-bats) versus lefties at Memphis, which made him a logical candidate to be in the lineup against the left-handed Wade Miley on Thursday.
With his three hits, which tied a career high, Robinson raised his batting average from .095 to .200.
-- Allen Craig. Craig followed up his three-hit performance Wednesday with two more hits Thursday, giving him back-to-back multi-hit games for the first time this season.
The first baseman had an infield single in the sixth -- it was initially ruled an error on the second baseman, but later changed to a hit -- that sparked the two-run inning to tie the score and then added an RBI double in the seventh to put the Cardinals ahead 3-2.
"I feel like I'm getting better," Craig said. "I'm taking my at-bats one at a time and I feel like I'm hitting the ball hard. It's just a matter of time."
-- Lance Lynn. The Cardinals' starter had a rough first inning with two runners scoring before he recorded two outs, but Lynn was good enough to keep his team in the game. He ended up scattering seven hits over six innings, striking out six and walking just one.
"He comes out and gets three ground balls in a row the next inning," Matheny said of Lynn's scoreless second inning. "He made a great adjustment and he did it quick, and then just stayed the course. He did a nice job mixing in the breaking ball. He got in a little bit of trouble in the fourth but was able to pitch out of it."
-- Pat Neshek. The righty reliever pitched a perfect seventh in relief of Lynn and then, after Craig's go-ahead RBI double, a scoreless eighth. He hadn't recorded a victory since June 25, 2013, against the Reds.
It was the 18th consecutive scoreless appearance for the veteran over 16 2/3 innings.
"I don't think guys like facing him," Matheny said. "Just watching the guys and the at-bats they take against him, righties and lefties. I think the velocity helps that. The changeup against the lefties is working. The slider has always been a tough pitch to pick up.
"It was a big, big outing for him and for us today for him to go out and throw those two (innings) in that part of the lineup. Fortunately, he was pretty efficient his first inning so we could throw him back out there. That was something we really desperately needed."
-- Lynn's batting average. The pitcher went hitless in two at-bats to drop his batting average from .063 to .056. He is now tied with Michael Wacha for lowest batting average among the starting pitchers. Both have one hit in 18 at-bats this season.
-- Mark Ellis. The second baseman walked twice, including once intentionally, but was hitless in his two other trips to the plate, dropping his batting average from .182 to .176. He's now gone 10 consecutive at-bats without a hit.
-- The D-backs. These are tough times for the Snakes, who have now lost six of their last nine games and fell to 18-31 for the season.
You can follow Nate Latsch on Twitter (@natelatsch) or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.