The St. Louis Cardinals received an unexpected assist from a stray cat en route to winning their fifth straight game on Wednesday.
On Thursday, the Cardinals attempted to return the favor by issuing a statement asking for anyone to contact the team should they find the mysterious -- and now missing -- feline.
The cat made his presence felt by running onto the field and interrupting play in the sixth inning of St. Louis' game against the Kansas City Royals.
Grounds crew member Lucas Hackmann retrieved the kitten and Yadier Molina promptly blasted the next pitch out of the park for a grand slam to highlight the Cardinals' 8-5 victory.
Hackmann was in need of medical assistance after being scratched and clawed by the feline.
"At that point, as our ushers tried to contain the cat, a fan grabbed it and claimed it was hers," the Cardinals said in a statement. "As she left the ballpark, our security team caught up with her and asked her some questions. She then abruptly left with the cat.
"We understand from media accounts that the woman intended to take it home and care for it, but lost track of it in City Garden. We are hopeful someone will find the cat and contact us so we can properly care for it. Our grounds crew is working on developing a stray animal protocol to ensure the safety of both crew and animal should this happen again.
"In the meantime, the Cardinals are looking to scratch and claw their way back to the top of the division standings."
St. Louis resides 1 1/2 games behind the first-place Chicago Cubs in the National League Central.
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