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Scouting Saturday's Pirates-Cardinals game

| Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

• Reliever John Axford flew out of Pittsburgh on Thursday night with the Brewers, but had to turn around and come back to PNC Park on Friday after being traded to the Cardinals. Axford is 6-7 with a 4.45 ERA in 62 outings (54 23 IP). A former closer, Axford has 106 saves in 126 career opportunities, including 46 saves in 2011. This year, he ranked second on the Brewers with 19 holds and will continue to pitch in a setup role with the Cardinals.

• Going into Friday's game, the Cardinals' bullpen was best in the majors in inherited runners scored (23.1 percent). The Diamondbacks and Yankees were tied for second (23.4 percent). Seth Maness (15.6) and Randy Choate (17.4) ranked third and fifth, respectively, among qualifying NL relievers.

• RHP Jeff Karstens has progressed to playing catch at Pirate City in Bradenton, Fla., as he recovers from shoulder surgery. Karstens will be a free agent this offseason and wants to play winter ball in the Dominican Republic to try to land a contract. He's open to returning to the Pirates, though that would seem to be a long shot.

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