Seung-hwan Oh (Jeff Curry/USA TODAY Sports Images)

A recap of St. Louis Cardinals-related news from the period of June 27-July 3, 2016 plus a look ahead

The St. Louis Cardinals dropped three of four to interstate rival Kansas City before sweeping Milwaukee over the weekend. As the bullpen struggles, Seung-hwan Oh has become the new closer.

Game recaps

Monday, June 27---Cardinals 2 at Royals 6

Starter Adam Wainwright suffered his fifth loss of the season as the Cardinals fell to the cross state rival Royals in the first game of a four game home and home interleague series.  Wainwright tossed five innings, giving up six runs on 10 hits, striking out seven and walking one.  Seth Maness added two scoreless innings of relief before Trevor Rosenthal pitched the ninth in a non-save situation, his first appearance since being removed from the closer role.  Rosenthal hurled a scoreless ninth, allowing two hits and fanning one.

The Cardinals got on the board in the first inning thanks to a two-run home run by DH Matt Holliday.  These would be the only Cardinals runs.  The Royals answered in the bottom of the first by plating two and added four more in the second inning to complete the scoring.  In addition to the long ball, Holliday also doubled.  Aledmys Diaz was 2-for-3 with two doubles, and Yadier Molina was 2-for-3.  These three Cardinal batters produced all of St. Louis’ hits.

 

Tuesday, June 28---Cardinals 8 at Royals 4

The Cardinals prevailed in Game 2 of the series thanks to a quality start from Michael Wacha.  Wacha went six innings, allowing four runs, three earned, on nine hits and earned his fourth win of the season.  The relief trio of Jonathan Broxton, Kevin Siegrist and Seung-Hwan Oh held on to the lead with three combined innings of scoreless relief.

The Cardinals put up three runs in the second inning, and followed with two runs in the fifth and three more in the sixth.  Matt Carpenter, who was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and two RBI, contributed a solo home run in the fifth inning.  Matt Adams was 2-for-3 with a run driven in.  Brandon Moss, Matt Holliday, Yadier Molina, and Kolten Wong all plated runs.

 

Wednesday, June 29----Cardinals 2, Royals 3 (12 innings)

The Cardinals added one more to their streak of one-run losses, falling to the Royals in extra innings in the first of two games at Busch Stadium.

Carlos Martinez pitched a gem, hurling six scoreless innings and scattering eight hits.  The entirety of the bullpen was exhausted to finish the next six frames.  Kevin Siegrist had a scoreless seventh, but Jonathan Broxton gave up one run in the eighth, to be bailed out by Tyler Lyons.  Matt Bowman pitched a scoreless ninth.  Seung-Hwan Oh surrendered an unearned run in the 10th, Trevor Rosenthal followed with a scoreless 11th, before Seth Maness gave up the winning run in the 12th to earn the loss.

The game remained scoreless until the eighth inning and the Cardinals tied it up in the ninth to send it into extras. Jhonny Peralta’s single plated the tying run as part of his 2-for-6 night.  Stephen Piscotty, who was also 2-for-6, played the temporary hero by socking a solo home run in the 10th to put the Cardinals ahead, but the Royals answered in the bottom of the 10th.  Piscotty suffered a foot injury while trying to make a play on a bloop to right field that looked to be foul but was just fair and scored the winning run.

 

Thursday, June 30----Cardinals 2, Royals 4

The rubber game of the home and home series ended in another frustrating loss for the Cardinals as the continuing saga of defensive miscues piled up with three errors.

Starter Mike Leake tossed seven innings, giving up three runs, two earned, on five hits.  Tyler Lyons suffered from this season’s nemesis for him, the long ball, a solo shot in the eighth.  Trevor Rosenthal pitched a clean ninth.

Brandon Moss, playing right field in place of the injured Stephen Piscotty, hit his 17th home run of the season, with the bases empty in the fourth for the Cardinals’ first run.   Jhonny Peralta followed with a solo home run in the sixth as part of his 2-for-4 night.

Peralta, Leake and backup catcher Brayan Pena all committed errors, leading to one unearned run.

 

Friday, July 1---Cardinals 7, Brewers 1

The Cardinals sailed through the opener of the three-game weekend series against the Brewers on Friday night.  Jaime Garcia had one of his better starts of the season, pitching eight innings, allowing only one run on four hits, including a home run to pick up his sixth win.  Matt Bowman tossed a scoreless ninth.

The top of the lineup - Matt Carpenter, Aledmys Diaz and Matt Holliday - each had two hits.  Diaz and Holliday doubled. Holliday contributed three RBI; Carpenter and Diaz plated one each.  Yadier Molina was 2-for 4 with an RBI and Garcia helped himself with an RBI single in the fourth inning.

 

Saturday, July 2---Cardinals 3, Brewers 0

Adam Wainwright earned his seventh win in this rain-delayed contest on Saturday afternoon.  Wainwright pitched seven shutout innings, scattering seven hits and striking out five. Jonathan Broxton pitched a scoreless eighth, and Seung-Hwan Oh tossed a clean ninth, earning his first save in the US.

Kolten Wong was the star of this show, hitting a two-run triple in the fourth inning and scoring on a squeeze play by Greg Garcia, who was safe at first on the bunt single.  Every hitter except Matt Holliday and Wainwright contributed a hit, including a double by Brandon Moss. 

Stephen Piscotty returned to the lineup after injuring his foot on a defensive play in Wednesday’s extra inning loss to the Royals.

 

Sunday, July 3---Cardinals 9, Brewers 8

The rubber game of the series was a mess in more ways than one.  A very rainy day in St. Louis led to multiple rain delays and a game that did not end until more than six hours after first pitch was scheduled to occur.

It took seven pitchers to finally bring an end to this game.  Starter Michael Wacha went five innings, giving up two runs on nine hits, fanning six and walking only one.  Tyler Lyons pitched a scoreless sixth.  Trevor Rosenthal gave up a run and could not record an out in the seventh.  Matt Bowman got out of the no outs and bases loaded mess, with a rain delay in the middle of it, but an inherited runner did score. Jonathan Broxton pitched a scoreless eighth.  Sam Tuivailala, like Rosenthal, could not record an out in the ninth.  With the bases loaded and no outs, Seung-Hwan Oh came in with the tying run on deck.  Oh allowed all three inherited runners to score, then gave up an additional run to bring the Brewers to within one.   Oh did get out of the inning, and got the save, but it was a nail biter to the end.

The Cardinals offense scored nine runs, and every one of them was needed.  The star was Stephen Piscotty, who was 3-for-4, and who hit his second grand slam of the season in the sixth inning.  Aledmys Diaz hit solo shot in the first inning.  Matt Carpenter, Greg Garcia, Brandon Moss, and Jhonny Peralta all drove in a run.

 

NL Central Standings

  W L % GB
Chicago Cubs 51 30 0.630 ---
St. Louis 43 38 0.527 8
Pittsburgh 41 41 0.500 10.5
Milwaukee 35 46 0.453 16
Cincinnati 30 53 0.361 22

As the Cubs went 3-4 this past week, St. Louis picked up a game in the standings.

Who’s Hot

http://www.scout.com/player/133107-matt-carpenter?s=321

Matt Carpenter continues to be hot at a seven day OPS of 1.300 with one double, one triple, three home runs and five RBI.

Aledmys Diaz also continued hot.  The shortstop has an OPS 1.324 this past week with six doubles and two RBI.

Brandon Moss has an OPS of .936 with two doubles, one triple, one HR and three RBI.

http://www.scout.com/player/56696-matt-holliday?s=321

Matt Holliday has reheated, with an OPS of .930, three doubles, two HRs, and eight RBI.

Tommy Pham makes his debut on the hot list, with an OPS of .904, two HRs and two RBI.

Carlos Martinez remains hot, with an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 1.50.

Mike Leake returns to the hot list, with an ERA of 2.57 and a WHIP of 0.86 this past week.

http://www.scout.com/player/173078-matt-bowman?s=321

Matt Bowman is hot, with an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.33 this past week.

Who’s Not

Matt Adams remains cold with an OPS of .292.

In five PAs since returning from the DL, Brayan Pena has an OPS of .200.

Greg Garcia has cooled off, with an OPS of .437.

Tyler Lyons has cooled off, with an ERA of 6.75 and a WHIP of 1.50.

 

A Look at Cardinals’ Lineups

Matt Carpenter, Matt Holliday, and Stephen Piscotty have been consistently in lineup spots one, three and four.  The exceptions this past week are one start in leadoff by Tommy Pham with Carpenter out of the lineup, and two starts by Brandon Moss in cleanup with Piscotty injured.

The second spot in the lineup has been a mixture of Aldemys Diaz, Kolten Wong, Jhonny Peralta, and Moss.

The number five hitter has been either Matt Adams, Moss, or Peralta.

The six hole has been a mixture of Jedd Gyorko, Yadier Molina, Adams and Peralta.

The seventh spot has been a mixture of Pham, Moss, Molina, Wong, and Brayan Pena.

The eighth spot has been the home of Wong, Gyorko, Pham, and Greg Garcia.

The ninth spot in interleague DH games was occupied by Eric Fryer, Pham, and Garcia.

 

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.

 

Transactions

The Cardinals activated C Brayan Pena from the 15-day disabled list and designated C Eric Fryer for assignment. The latter was claimed off waivers by Pittsburgh.

The Cardinals placed LHP Kevin Siegrist on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to June 30.

The Cardinals recalled RHP Sam Tuivailala from the Memphis Redbirds.

 

Injury Report

Stephen Piscotty injured his left foot on Wednesday and missed two games.  Piscotty returned to the lineup on Saturday.

Kevin Siegrist was placed on the 15-day disabled list following a diagnosis of mononucleosis.

 

Looking Ahead

The Cardinals continue the homestand with a four-game series against the Pirates beginning on Monday.  Carlos Martinez is scheduled to make the Independence Day start.  Leake will take the ball on Tuesday, followed by Jaime Garcia on Wednesday and Adam Wainwright on Thursday.

The Cardinals travel to Milwaukee to take on the Brewers in a weekend series heading into the All-Star break.  The pitching probables are Michael Wacha, Carlos Martinez, and Mike Leake.

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