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2012 MLB Standings: Cardinals Look To Build Wild Card Lead

The Houston Astros might be just what the St. Louis Cardinals need as the Red Birds seek to claim the second and final NL Wild Card spot.

St. Louis topped Houston 4-1 on Tuesday to increase its lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers to 1.5 games. They'll send Lance Lynn to the mound Wednesday night against Houston's Lucas Harrell in hopes of winning their third straight game. The Cardinals (78-70) had lost 13 of their previous 19 games before handing Houston its majors-worst 100th loss Tuesday night.

The Dodgers will look to keep pace on the road against the NL-best Washington Nationals, where they play a doubleheader after getting rained out Tuesday night.

St. Louis is well behind the Atlanta Braves for the top Wild Card spot, which will get the privilege of hosting the one-game Wild Card playoff before the start of the divisional round. After L.A. in 2nd place, the surging Milwaukee Brewers are 2.5 games back while Pittsburgh is 3.5 back and Philadelphia is 4 back.

See SI.com for the complete MLB standings.

Head over to Viva El Birdos for more Cardinals coverage, and check out Baseball Nationfor even more news from around the majors.