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Who's hot (Tuivailala), who's not (Cecil) for Cards

Here is a look at who's hot and who's not for the Cardinals:


Sam Tuivailala, RP: It will be hard to keep him down on the farm after the success he is enjoying during this latest fill-in stint. How about that curveball! Tuivailala earned his second relief win Wednesday in the 7-5 victory at Miami, working the fifth inning after Lance Lynn's early exit. He has pitched four scoreless innings in three outings since returning from Memphis. Overall the shuttle rider has allowed just one run in six outings spanning seven innings at the big league level this season. He has thrown 8 1/3 shutout innings in Triple-A this season.

Jedd Gyorko, 3B: Can he become the impact hitter the Cardinals desperately need in the middle of the batting order? He keeps making his case. He powered Wednesday's victory by going 3 for 4 with two RBIs and a stolen base. After hitting .333 in April, he is batting .378 in May with nine RBIs in 37 at bats. He is 9 for 23 with runners in scoring position this season and 6 for 13 with RISP and two outs. Last season Gyorko cracked 30 homers but hit just .230 with RISP and .188 with RISP and two outs. He has been a far more complete batter.

Magneuris Sierra, OF: If he keeps hitting, he will create a sticky situation for the Cardinals. He was 1 for 3 with a walk and two runs scored, continuing his eye-opening success as an emergency injury replacement. Sierra is 6 for 17 with two walks, seven runs scored and impressive defensive work in center field since leaping from the advanced Class A Palm Beach to the majors. Given the team's lively play with him in the lineup, don't the Cardinals have to ride out this streak?

Dexter Fowler, OF: His sore shoulder has kept him from playing in the outfield, but it hasn't prevented him from delivering the decisive blow pinch-hitting in the last two victories. Wednesday's RBI triple boosted his batting average to .236, a season high. After spending much of April below the Mendoza Line, he went on a 10-for-23 tear before getting hurt during the last homestand. His success off the bench validated GM John Mozeliak's decision to keep him on the active roster as he recovered.

Kevin Siegrist, RP: He looked like his old self Wednesday, striking out two batters while breezing through his inning in 14 pitches. After flirting with danger in recent games -- allowing seven baserunners while retiring nine batters in four appearances --  he has delivered consecutive 1-2-3 outings while lowering his earned-run average to 4.73


Brett Cecil, RP: He failed again Wednesday night, allowing three hits and a run while retiring just two batters. In his last four outings, spanning three innings, Cecil has allowed three runs on eight hits and a walk. Opponents are hitting .333 against him this season with an .888 OPS.

Randal Grichuk, OF: While all the other batters were having fun in Miami, he went hitless in 12 at bats against the Marlins. This came after he produced three straight two-hit games . . . which came on the heels of two hitless games. Consistency remains elusive for Grichuk and soon he will have considerable competition for at-bats as Fowler, Stephen Piscotty and Jose Martinez get healthy. He is on the clock.

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Jeff Gordon is an online sports columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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