St. Louis Cardinals Manager Oliver Marmol walks out to talk with an umpire. The Cardinals are last in the NL Central with a 13-25. Lindsey Wasson/Associated Press

CHICAGO — When Dylan Carlson looks at his St. Louis teammates, he sees a long list of accomplishments. There is reigning NL MVP Paul Goldschmidt and seven-time All-Star Nolan Arenado. And Adam Wainwright, a World Series winner closing in on 200 career victories.

All that past success is one reason why the team’s lackluster start has been so frustrating for the Cardinals. It’s also why they remain hopeful for the rest of the year.

“That helps. That kind of eliminates some of that panic, that worry,” Carlson said, “having guys who’ve experienced winning at the highest level.”

They just aren’t experiencing much winning at the moment, and rare moments of dysfunction seem to be leaking into the franchise’s foundational “Cardinal Way.” After taking two of three at the Chicago Cubs this week, St. Louis remained in last place in the NL Central with a 13-25 record.

It’s the worst 38-game start for the club since it was 13-25 in 1925, according to Sportradar. The Cardinals haven’t finished with a losing record since they were 78-84 in 2007, and the franchise had just two losing seasons in the previous 25 years.

St. Louis opens a three-game series on Friday at Fenway Park against the Red Sox.


The last time a big league team made the playoffs after it was at least 14 games under .500 – St. Louis was 10-24 after a 6-5 loss to Detroit last weekend – at any point in the season was the 2005 Houston Astros.

“We definitely have high expectations inside and outside this clubhouse, and we expect to play well and we expect to win,” Goldschmidt said. “We haven’t done a good enough job of that to start the year, and we’re doing everything we can to (play) well starting every day and take that and carry it to the next day as much as we can.”

The losing and disorder are a departure for a franchise that typically sails along with very little of the choppy water it has publicly navigated already.

Manager Oliver Marmol questioned Tyler O’Neill’s effort after he was thrown out at home during a 4-1 loss to Atlanta on April 4, and O’Neill disagreed with the criticism. Jordan Walker, one of baseball’s top prospects, made the team out of spring training and batted .274 in 20 games before he was optioned to Triple-A Memphis, with Marmol citing a desire to help the rest of the team’s outfielders get into a rhythm.

Looking to replace Yadier Molina at catcher, St. Louis signed three-time All-Star Willson Contreras to an $87.5 million, five-year contract in December in its biggest move of the offseason. But Marmol announced last weekend that Contreras would be taking a break from catching for a while – a move that raised questions about the fit of the free agent acquisition in the first place.

The departure of Molina, a nine-time Gold Glove winner who retired after his 19th season with the Cardinals, looms over the team’s losing record, but Wainwright downplayed the significance of his absence.


“We don’t have anyone to blame for this skid except (ourselves),” said Wainwright, who missed the start of the season with a groin injury. “Would Yadi help? Always. Yadi’s going to make everyone better. But he’s not the reason we were 14 games under .500.”

TWINS: Minnesota pitcher Tyler Mahle will undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery after an MRI showed issues with the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow.

He said the elbow reconstruction surgery will be done in the next two weeks. He plans to do rehab back home in Orange, California.

The 28-year-old Mahle, was pulled from his start on April 27 after showing diminished velocity. Mahle has a one-year, $7.5 million contract with Minnesota and will be an unrestricted free agent in the offseason.

RAYS: Tampa Bay left-hander Tyler Glasnow was cleared to make his next minor league injury rehabilitation appearance in his return from an oblique injury, a day after a start was cut short by left side tightness.



RAYS 8, YANKEES 2: Josh Lowe drove in a career-high five runs, Drew Rasmussen extended his scoreless streak against the Yankees to 21 innings and visiting Tampa Bay kept up its domination of New York.

Lowe hit a three-run double off Ron Marinaccio to open a 4-0 lead in the sixth, then hit a two-run homer in a three-run eighth against Ryan Weber. The 435-foot drive over the Yankees bullpen in right-center was Lowe’s eighth home run this season.

Tampa Bay won the opener of the four-game series and improved to 3-1 against New York this season. The Rays are a major league-best 30-9 and dropped the last-place Yankees nine games back in the AL East.

REDS 5, METS 0: Cincinnati erupted for four first-inning runs against Kodai Senga, Spencer Steer added an insurance solo shot and four relievers made them stand up while cruising to a win over visiting New York, handing the Mets a fifth straight series loss.

TWINS 5, ASTROS 3: Carlos Correa hit a two-run double in the seventh inning, and Minnesota beat visiting San Diego.

Kyle Farmer homered as Minnesota earned its second straight victory after a stretch of five losses in seven games. Emilio Pagán (3-0) got three outs for the win, and Jorge López pitched a perfect ninth for his third save.

ROYALS 4, WHITE SOX 3: Freddy Fermin followed a leadoff walk by Nick Pratto and a single by Matt Duffy with a perfectly executed sacrifice bunt in the ninth inning, giving the Kansas City a win over visiting Chicago.

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