ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals' Rally Cat is on the loose.
The team issued a statement Thursday afternoon clarifying reports about what happened to the cat, which ran onto the field in the sixth inning ofSt. Louis' 8-5 win over Kansas City on Wednesday, after it was removed from the stadium.
"Lucas Hackmann, a member of our grounds crew, secured the stray cat in the outfield and exited the playing surface at the left field gate and walked up towards the main concourse at Gate 3," the team said in the statement released to media. "He then let the cat down outside of Gate 3 near the Stan Musial statue and went immediately to first aid to attend to his scratch and bite injuries. At that point, as our ushers tried to contain the cat, a fan grabbed it and claimed it was hers. 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."
Hackmann will have an opportunity to discuss the event and his injuries when he talks to FOX Sports Midwest reporter Jimmy "The Cat" Hayes during Thursday night's Cardinals Live pregame show.
The team also indicated in its statement that it is looking at ways to ensure a smoother animal removal process should such an incident reoccur.
"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."
On the first pitch after Hackmann left with the cat, catcher Yadier Molina hit a grand slam that gave the Cardinals their margin of victory. Hence, the #RallyCat.