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Cardinals 4, Reds 2

Updated: October 2, 2012, 1:10 AM ET
Associated Press

ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Cardinals needed this one a lot more than the Cincinnati Reds. The NL Central champions are in tune-up mode.

The Reds are tied with the Washington Nationals for the best record in the NL at 96-64 after a 4-2 loss Monday night to the Cardinals, who clinched a tie for the second NL wild card. The final series for Cincinnati, which got manager Dusty Baker back from a mini-stroke that sidelined him for 11 games, is a dress rehearsal.

"Right now, it's about preservation ...

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