(KSDK Sports) -- The Cardinals enter tonight's game against division rival Cinncinati, 22 games over .500, tied for first place in the N.L. Central with the Pittsburgh Pirates...the Cardinals are 2.5 games ahead of Cincinnati in the NL Wild Card race & 7.0 games in front of Arizona...the Cardinals have 18 home dates remaining and 14 road games.
PLAYOFF & DIVISION BATTLES: The Redbirds are in the midst of 17 games against NL playoff contenders: ATL- 4 (3-1), CIN-3, at PIT-3, at CIN-4, PIT-3 and begin a stretch today of 13 games facing Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, all three of which are fighting for the top spot in the NL Central...St. Louis has 23 divisional games remaining with CHI (3), CIN (7), MIL (7), and PIT(6)...the Cardinals are 32-22 (.593) in divisional play this season and are aiming for their 5th consecutive season with a winning mark inside their division.
DOG DAY DOUBLES: The Cardinals have hit a double in 16-straight games, a season high for the year...St. Louis
has cracked 66 doubles this month with five games remaining, the 13th STL team with 60 doubles in August, and only the 5th time since 1946 (2001, 69: last time over 66)...the club's 66 two-baggers far out-distance the next closest MLB teams (BOS & MIN-55)...individually, the Cardinals hold the top-4 spots in the NL in August doubles (Carpenter 11, Beltran 10, Holliday & Jay 9)...
MORE 8th-MONTH NUGGETS: The Cards also have an NL-best 232 hits (T2nd in MLB) and 126 runs scored (2nd in MLB) this month.
A FRANCHISE SEASON: Matt Carpenter is putting together quite a season, reaching milestones that put him in elite company... he has crossed the plate 97 times this season and would become just the 7th Cardinals in franchise history (15th time) to score 100 runs during a season in which the player's primary position is a second basemen.
TOP SHELF: Yadier Molina has a .335 batting average, the top spot in the NL...he is batting .385 (15-for-39) in his first nine games since returning from the DL Aug. 15...Molina has 7 doubles, 2HRs, 8 runs & 6RBI in those games.