Monday, June 6---Off day
A late inning offensive surge fell short by one run in this first game of a series against the rival Reds.
Starter Mike Leake fell victim to a frequent 2016 disease, the big inning. Leake was cruising until the fourth, when he gave up four Reds runs to lose a precarious 1-0 lead. Leake hurled 6 1/3 innings, surrendering six runs total on 10 hits, including two home runs. Dean Kiekhefer relieved secured the final two outs of the seventh. Jonathan Broxton pitched a scoreless eighth, but Kevin Siegrist yielded the winning walk off home run to Joey Votto in the ninth, and took the loss.
The Cardinals offense rallied for five runs in the eighth and ninth innings to tie the game. It was a valiant effort, though it failed. A sac fly off the bat of Aledmys Diaz in the eighth scored one and a defensive error that put Matt Carpenter on base was followed by consecutive singles by Matt Holliday and Stephen Piscotty, and a double by Jhonny Peralta that plated two. An RBI double by Carpenter in the ninth added two more scores. Multi hit nights came from Stephen Piscotty (2-for-3), Jhonny Peralta (2-for-4) and Matt Adams (2-for-4).
This second game of the series featured offense that was not playing catch up or falling short of victory.
The Cardinals put four runs on the board in the first two innings and added runs in the fifth, seventh, and eighth innings. Mulitple players had multiple hits. Matt Adams, Jhonny Peralta and Brandon Moss were each 2-for-5. Adams and Peralta hit a home run; Moss hit two. In a trifecta of offense, all three had three RBI. Yadier Molina was 2-for-4, as was Randal Grichuk. Also driving in runs were Matt Carpenter, Stephen Piscotty and Greg Garcia.
It was not a good outing for starter Jaime Garcia, who pitched 4 2/3 innings, giving up five runs on 13 hits. Matt Bowman got the final out of the fifth inning and vultured the win. Dean Kiekhefer and Seung-Hwan Oh each provided an inning of scoreless relief. Tyler Lyons pitched the final two innings, but surrendered two runs.
The rubber game of the series was a close one, but the Cardinals eeked out the win with a run in the eighth.
Starter Adam Wainwright gave up two early runs in the first inning, but after that, he was brilliant. The veteran pitched five more scoreless innings, giving up no hits after the first inning, and striking out a season high nine batters. Unfortunately, Wainwright took a no decision and the win went to his replacement, Seung-Hwan Oh, who pitched a scoreless seventh. Kevin Siegrist and Trevor Rosenthal handled the eighth and ninth, allowing no runs as well.
The Cardinals offense scored three runs on eight hits. Yadier Molina was 3-for-4 with a double and the winning RBI. Brandon Moss plated one and was 2-for-4. Aledmys Diaz drove in a run on a sixth inning single.
This first game of the weekend series was one of the most exciting yet of the season. Missed plays, dropped balls, and winning offense from an unexpected source were some of the highlights.
Michael Wacha pitched a better game than in recent starts. He went seven innings, giving up two runs on only three hits. Seung-Hwan Oh took over in the eighth, after the Cardinals had taken the lead. Closer Trevor Rosenthal relinquished the lead in the ninth, aided by an ill-advised diving play by Stephen Piscotty that turned a probable double into a triple. That runner scored to tie the game and sent it into extra innings.
Jonathan Broxton pitched two scoreless innings, though things got scary in the 11th when Randal Grichuk dropped a routine fly ball to put the Pirates’ fastest runner on base. Broxton got out of the jam, however, and earned the win. With a big lead by that point, Matt Bowman pitched the bottom of the 12th without allowing a run.
The Cardinals offense was held scoreless for seven innings. Matt Carpenter hit a three-run home run in the eighth to give St. Louis a temporary lead.
The excitement came in the 12th, when with runners on first and second and no position players left on the bench, Adam Wainwright smoked a pinch-hit double into the left center gap to score both runners. That opened the flood gates, as the Cardinals added four more runs to seal the deal on a Matt Adams RBI double and two run home run by Brandon Moss.
The Cardinals won game two and the series in PNC Park on Saturday night.
Starter Carlos Martinez was excellent, pitching 8 1/3 innings, giving up only one run on six hits. Trevor Rosenthal secured the final two outs for the save. Martinez was the winning pitcher.
The offensive highlight was a fifth inning three-run blast off the bat of Matt Holliday. The inning began with a leadoff double by Brandon Moss, who then advanced on a wild pitch and scored on a passed ball with Jedd Gyorko at the plate. The passed ball was a third strike and Gyorko ended up on first base. After a Martinez sac bunt and a walk to Aledmys Diaz, Holliday smoked the ball for three runs. The Cardinals scored an insurance run in the seventh as Randal Grichuk was hit by a pitch and came around to score on consecutive singles by Holliday and Jhonny Peralta. Holliday was 3-for-4 on the night; Moss was 2-for-4.
The Cardinals completed the sweep of the Pirates at PNC Park for the first time since 2009.
Starter Mike Leake earned his fifth win of the season, pitching seven innings and giving up three runs, two earned, on six hits. Jonathan Broxton added a scoreless eighth and Kevin Siegrist a clean ninth.
For the second consecutive contest, Matt Holliday got the offense going with the long ball, a solo home run in the first inning. Holliday was 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored. Yadier Molina was 3-for-4 with a run driven in, and Stephen Piscotty was 2-for-4 with two doubles and one RBI. Leake helped himself with the bat, going 2-for-3.
NL Central Standings
The Cardinals are 7-3 over their last 10, taking over second place, but the Cubs also keep winning. As of now, St. Louis holds the first wild card, by one game over the Mets.
Jhonny Peralta, newly returned to the active roster, is already hot. His OPS this past week is 1.086 and he had two doubles, one HR and six RBI.
Matt Adams continues on the hot list with an OPS of .897 this past week, with one HR, one double and six RBI.
Matt Carpenter continues to be hot at a seven day OPS of 1.349, with four doubles, one HR and seven RBI.
Brandon Moss is still hot, with an OPS of 1.397 this past week, posting three HRs, one double and six RBI.
Yadier Molina has reheated, his past week OPS is .820 and he had two doubles and two RBI.
Carlos Martinez remains hot, with a record of 2-0, and ERA of 2.57 and a WHIP of 1.05.
Seung-Hwan Oh earned his first win this past week with an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.25.
Matt Bowman also won his first game and had an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.75.
Jeremy Hazelbaker continues on the cold list with an OPS of .000 in only four plate appearances.
Randal Grichuk remains cold with an OPS of .448.
Stephen Piscotty enters the cold list for the first time. He has a seven day OPS of .476.
Jedd Gyorko returns to the cold list with an OPS of .333.
Jaime Garcia is cold, with an ERA of 9.64 and a WHIP of 3.00 in his lone start.
Kevin Siegrist has turned cold, with a loss this past week and an ERA of 4.50 and WHIP of 2.50.
A Look at Cardinals’ Lineups
The top three in the lineups this past week continued to be Matt Carpenter, Aledmys Diaz and Matt Holliday, with the exception of a lead off starts by Grichuk and Gyorko when Carpenter was out. Matt Adams also has one start in the three spot on a Holliday rest day.
Stephen Piscotty remains in the clean-up spot, with the exception of two rest days when Jhonny Peralta and Matt Adams hit clean-up.
The fifth spot has been a mixture of Adams, Peralta and Yadier Molina.
The six hole has seen a mixture of Molina, Adams, and Brandon Moss.
The seventh spot has been a mix of Molina, Moss, Jedd Gyorko and Jeremy Hazelbaker.
The eighth spot has been the home of slumping Randal Grichuk with one start each for Gyorko and Eric Fryer.
Trade and Acquisition Rumors
There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.
The Cardinals optioned 2B Kolten Wong to Memphis Redbirds.
The Cardinals activated SS Jhonny Peralta from the 15 day disabled list.
The Cardinals sent RHP Seth Maness and C Brayan Pena on a rehab assignment to Springfield Cardinals.
Seth Maness (right elbow) and Brayan Pena (left knee) have begun rehab assignments in Springfield.
Matt Carpenter has sat out two consecutive games, Saturday and Sunday, perhaps due to a jammed finger.
After the Pirates series concluded on Sunday, the Cardinals return home for interleague play. A two game series against the Houston Astros begins on Tuesday with Jaime Garcia and Adam Wainwright getting the starts. After another off day Thursday, the Cardinals will face the first-place Texas Rangers in a weekend series.
Beginning next Monday, the Cardinals will take on another division-leading club at Wrigley Field for a three game series. The Cardinals have a travel day on Thursday to head to Seattle to play the Mariners in a weekend interleague series. Next, the Cardinals will play a home and home series against the Royals for two games each in Kansas City and at Busch Stadium.
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