The Cardinals walked off against the rival Cubs in a close game on Monday night at Busch.
A ninth inning solo home run off the bat of Randal Grichuk turned the tide in the first game of the series. The Cardinals had taken an early 1-0 lead, but the Cubs stole it back with three runs in the fourth and fifth innings. The Cardinals tied it up in the seventh with the aid of a two run blast by pinch hitter Matt Adams, and Grichuk sealed the deal with his own long ball. Grichuk was 2-for-4 with two runs scored. The Cardinals managed only five hits against Cubs hurler John Lackey.
Adam Wainwright tossed six innings and gave up all three Cubs runs on seven hits and took a no decision. Seung-Hwan Oh, Kevin Siegrist and Trevor Rosenthal combined for the remaining three scoreless innings, with Rosenthal getting the win.
Adams’ home run was the ninth by Cardinals’ pinch hitters this season.
Michael Wacha suffered his fifth loss of the season in this blowout. Wacha had a disastrous first inning, as ten batters came to the plate and six runs scored before he was able to procure the third out. A leadoff double and a two-run home run to begin the fifth inning sent Wacha to the showers. Four innings pitched, with eight runs on eight hits, four walks and four strikeouts was Wacha’s final line. Tyler Lyons pitched three scoreless innings before yielding to Dean Kiekhefer. Kiekhefer was battered for four additional runs in his two frames.
The Cardinals offense managed three runs against Cubs pitching, one against starter Jason Hammel, and two more versus Clayton Richard. All three runs scored in the final two innings. For the second consecutive night, Matt Adams and Randal Grichuk provided the bulk of the offense. Adams was 2-for-3 with a double and Grichuk was 2-for-4, also with a double. A Brandon Moss double plated the first Cardinals run in the eighth against Hammel. Ruben Tejada hit a sacrifice fly in the ninth to drive in Jeremy Hazelbaker, who reached on an error, and Jedd Gyorko, on base with a single, came home on a subsequent Grichuk single.
The Cardinals suffered a second loss to the Cubs in the rubber game of the series, but this one was closer.
The big inning did in another Cardinals starter, this time it was Carlos Martinez, who gave up six runs in the second inning after St. Louis had taken a 1-0 lead. Martinez lasted five innings and took his fourth loss. Seung-Hwan Oh stumbled, surrendering three additional Cubs runs in the sixth. The trio of Jonathan Broxton, Kevin Siegrist and Trevor Rosenthal combined for three remaining scoreless innings.
The offense did manage to chip away at the Cubs early lead, adding runs in the second, fourth, sixth and seventh innings, but fell one run short in the end. Matt Adams and Randal Grichuk continued their hot hitting ways for the third straight game, as Adams was 3-for-5 and Grichuk was 2-for-5, each with a solo home run and two runs driven in. Stephen Piscotty decided to join the fun and provided a 2-for-4 outing with one RBI. Matt Holliday hit a three run blast in the sixth.
Mike Leake pitched well, but the long ball and a lack of offensive support did him in. Two solo home runs off the bats of Bryce Harper and Danny Espinosa provided the only runs the Nats needed to steal this win. Leake pitched seven good innings, yielding seven hits and striking out five. Seung-Hwan Oh added a scoreless eighth. It was the third loss of the season for Leake.
The only Cardinals run came via a fourth inning solo home run by Aledmys Diaz. Jeremy Hazelbaker, Matt Adams, Stephen Piscotty, Brandon Moss, and Greg Garcia (arriving to replace new dad Matt Carpenter) each singled. That was it for the offense.
Friday was Stephen Piscotty night at Nationals Park, much to the chagrin of Max Scherzer and the Nationals. With one giant swing of the bat, Piscotty gifted the Cardinals four runs for 75% of the Cardinals total, with his first grand slam of his major league career. The grand slam followed a series of walks and singles that brought home the first run of the inning. There was another home run in the eighth, a solo shot by Greg Garcia.
Jaime Garcia made the start, and it was an indifferent one. Garcia’s command was in and out, but he managed seven innings, despite receiving an umpire’s warning for throwing two errant balls near batters’ heads. The lefty gave up two runs on seven hits, one on a solo home run, struck out four and walked one. Kevin Siegrist and Matt Bowman pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth. Garcia earned his fourth win.
For the second consecutive game, the Cardinals offense battered Nationals pitching - this time it was Gio Gonzalez who was roughed up. It started out promising for Gonzalez, as he struck out all three batters in the first inning. However, in the second, a leadoff walk and a stolen base by Friday night’s hero Stephen Piscotty got the ball rolling. Gonzalez retired the next two batters but after a walk to Jedd Gyorko, Greg Garcia’s base hit scored Piscotty. Starter Adam Wainwright struck the next blow with a two run double to the left center field gap, and Matt Carpenter, returned from paternity leave, smacked a double to plate Wainwright with the fourth run.
The Cardinals scored again in the third inning on a solo home run by Matt Holliday, who was 2-for-3 on the night. The Cardinals added a sixth run on a Randal Grichuk double that knocked Gonzalez out of the game. Pinch hitter Matt Adams provided a two run double in the eighth, and Yadier Molina hit a sacrifice fly in the ninth, following a Grichuk triple to score the ninth and final run.
Starter Adam Wainwright pitched better than his line indicated. Wainwright hurled seven innings, and was the victim of three long balls for all of the Nationals’ scores. Wainwright struck out five and issued no walks for only the second time in 11 starts. Seung-Hwan Oh and Dean Kiekhefer pitched the eighth and ninth without allowing any runs. Wainwright earned his fifth win of the season.
This game was closer than the score indicates as a late inning surge by the Nats turned it into a laugher.
With Stephen Strasburg on the mound, and three Cardinals starters getting the day off, it was a tough challenge. Starter Michael Wacha pitched much better than in his previous five starts, and kept the offense in the game during his six innings of work. He gave up three runs in the fourth inning, but overall he was decent, striking out six and walking only one. Wacha took the loss as his relief squad of Jonathan Broxton, Dean Kiekhefer and Tyler Lyons let the game get out of hand, giving up seven runs among them.
Brandon Moss got the Cardinals on the board with a solo home run in the fourth. The Nats added three against Wacha in the bottom frame, but in the top of the seventh, three base hits by pinch hitter Aledmys Diaz, Greg Garcia and Matt Holliday (who was 3-for-5 on the day) loaded the bases. Matt Adams’ sac fly to right plated Diaz, bringing the Cardinals to within one run. In the bottom of the seventh, however, the bullpen faltered and gave the game away.
NL Central Standings
Matt Adams continues on the hot list, as he hit to an OPS of 2.086 this past week, with two HRs, three doubles and six RBI.
Randal Grichuk has been hot, with a seven day OPS of 1.036. Grichuk has hit three doubles, two HRs, and driven in six runs.
Newly recalled Greg Garcia has one double, one HR and two RBI in three games, for an OPS of 2.086.
Matt Holliday returns to the hot list, with an OPS of .856 and two HRs and five RBI.
Jeremy Hazelbaker continues on the cold list with an OPS of .222 for the week.
Yadier Molina has gone cold with an OPS of .241.
Ruben Tejada ends his Cardinal career on the cold list, with an OPS of .310.
Alednys Diaz makes the cold list for the first time. Diaz has a seven day OPS of .389.
Kolten Wong is also cold with an OPS of .427.
New father Matt Carpenter has cooled off, with an OPS of .445.
Michael Wacha continues on the cold list with one start in the past week for an ERA of 18.00 and a WHIP of 3.00.
Carlos Martinez also continues to be cold with an ERA of 10.80 and a WHIP of 1.80.
A Look at Cardinals’ Lineups
With Matt Carpenter out on paternity leave this week, Kolten Wong, Jeremy Hazelbaker, and Greg Garcia each made starts as leadoff hitter.
Despite a slump, Aledmys Diaz continues in the second spot in the lineup.
Other than one start by Matt Adams, Matt Holliday continues as the third hitter.
Stephen Piscotty made all the starts this past week at clean-up.
The fifth spot changed, with a mixture of Brandon Moss, Matt Adams, and Randal Grichuk.
Yadier Molina moved to sixth for all his starts this past week.
The seven spot has seen a mixture of Grichuk, Kolten Wong, and Jedd Gyorko.
The eighth spot was the home of Wong, Ruben Tejada for one start, and Greg Garcia for two starts.
Trade and Acquisition Rumors
There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.
Cardinals transferred RHP Mitch Harris from the 15 day disabled list to the 60 day disabled list. Right elbow nerve entrapment.
Cardinals acquired 40-man roster LF Jose Martinez from the Kansas City Royals for cash considerations. Martinez was optioned to the Memphis Redbirds.
Cardinals placed 3B Matt Carpenter on the paternity list on 5/26/16. Carpenter was activated from the paternity list on 5/28/16.
Cardinals recalled IF Greg Garcia from Memphis Redbirds.
Cardinals sent SS Jhonny Peralta on a rehab assignment to Springfield Cardinals.
Cardinals signed free agent C Michael McKenry to a minor league contract and assigned him to Memphis.
Cardinals designated SS Ruben Tejada for assignment.
Jhonny Peralta (left thumb ligament) was relocated to Springfield to continue his rehab, but the rehab has stalled due to Peralta cutting his finger opening a box. The cut required three stitches.
Seth Maness (right elbow) continues on the DL.
Brayan Pena (left knee) continues to progress, doing squats and catchers drills as he moves toward a rehab assignment.
The Cardinals traveled to Milwaukee for a three-game series against the Brewers with Carlos Martinez scheduled to make the Monday start. Mike Leake will start on Tuesday, followed by Jaime Garcia on Wednesday.
The Cardinals travel home on Thursday, and begin a weekend series at Busch Stadium against the San Francisco Giants on Friday. After the Giants series, the Cardinals travel to Cincinnati on Monday to begin a three game series against the Reds on Tuesday.
After the Reds series, the Cardinals play the Pirates in a weekend series in Pittsburgh.
Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: Cardinals Extended Spring Training Camp Report – 5.28/16. Exclusive news on Jordan Hicks, Mason Katz, Bryan Dobzanski and others competing in extended spring training camp.
Not yet a member?
Join The Cardinal Nation for the most comprehensive coverage of the St. Louis Cardinals from the majors through the entire minor league system. Take advantage of our seven-day free trial.
Follow Marilyn Green on Twitter @Marilyncolor.
© 2016 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com and scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.