Cardinals say 'Rally Cat' is missing

The St. Louis Cardinals, hoping to "scratch and claw their way" into the playoffs, are looking for "Rally Cat" after it reportedly went missing late Wednesday night.

The stray feline entered Cardinals lore Wednesday night, interrupting play against the Kansas City Royals with the bases loaded in the sixth inning by running onto the field and toward the center-field wall.

One pitch after a grounds crew member Lucas Hackmann painfully retrieved the scared kitten, Yadier Molina blasted what turned out to be a game-winning grand slam in an 8-5 victory.

But what happened to the cat? After a series of events, the Cardinals say it is missing.

Hackmann told SportsCenter on Thursday morning that he took the cat up the main concourse and put it down outside the stadium gate near the Stan Musial statue as his hand was "covered in blood" from bites and scratches.

As Hackmann was taken to the hospital to attend to his injuries, the Cardinals said ushers tried to contain the cat when "a fan grabbed it and claimed it was hers."

The Cardinals said they caught up to the fan as she left the ballpark to ask her questions, but "she abruptly left with the cat."

The team said, according to reports, the woman lost track of the cat in Citygarden -- a park in St. Louis.

"We are hopeful someone will find the cat and contact us so we can properly care for it," the Cardinals said in a statement. "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."

The win was the third straight for the Cardinals against the Royals and the fifth straight overall, as St. Louis pulled within 1.5 games of the first-place Chicago Cubs in National League Central.

Said Cardinals manager Mike Matheny after the game: "I'm not a cat person, but I sure liked that one."