Paul Goldschmidt makes history with three-homer game for Cardinals

Game Report: Cardinals 9, Brewers 5

Paul Goldschmidt certainly did not need much time before having an historic night for the Cardinals.

In just his second game, Goldschmidt hit three home runs and drove in five runs to lead the Cardinals past the Brewers Friday night in Milwaukee.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Goldschmidt became the first player in major-league history to hit three home runs in either his first or second game with a team. He also became the first Cardinal ever to hit three home runs in either of the first two games of a season.

The last NL player to have a three-homer game in either the first or second game of the year was Tuffy Rhodes of the Cubs on opening day in 1994.

Goldschmidt, who was 0-3 with a walk and struck out three times in the season opener on Thursday, also had a single and was denied a chance for another hit when he was intentionally walked with first base open in the ninth.

Goldschmidt hit a two-run homer in the first inning, a solo shot in the sixth and a two-run homer in the eighth, the second three-homer game of his career. He also hit three for the Diamondbacks in a game at Chicago in 2017.

Here is how the game broke down:

At the plate: The only time Goldschmidt was retired came on a hard hit line drive to center field in the fourth inning … Goldschmidt’s first homer helped the Cardinals jump to a 3-0 lead in the first inning, which including an RBI double from Yadier Molina … Matt Carpenter had two hits, including an RBI single, as he reached the 1,000 hit mark for his career … The other RBI came from Paul DeJong, who also had a pair of singles … After going 0-of-11 with seven strikeouts in the season opener, the top three batters (Carpenter, Goldschmidt and DeJong) were a combined 8-of-15 with seven RBIs and were on base a total of 11 times.

On the mound: Goldschmidt’s performance helped bail out starter Jack Flaherty, who failed to hold leads of 3-0 and 4-3, giving up a tying three-run homer to Ryan Braun in the third and lasted just 4 1/3 innings … John Gant worked 1 2/3 scoreless innings and Alex Reyes made his 2019 debut with a perfect seventh inning but Andrew Miller had a rough Cardinals debut in the eighth, greeted by a home run by Christian Yelich and also hitting a batter before an inning-ending double play, started and ended by Goldschmidt … Jordan Hicks threw a 1-2-3 ninth, striking out two.

Key stat: The three homers from Goldschmidt followed three from his teammates Kolten Wong (2) and Harrison Bader on Thursday, making this the most home runs the Cardinals have hit in the first two games of a  season in team history. They hit five in the first two games in 2001, at Colorado, but they did not homer in the first game and then hit five in the second.

Worth noting: Goldschmidt also became the first Cardinal with a four-hit game in the first or second game of the season since Albert Pujols did it in 2010 … The last nine regular-season three-homer games for the Cardinals have come from their first baseman: Goldschmidt on Friday night, Matt Carpenter last year in Chicago, four from Pujols and three from Mark McGwire. Pujols also hit three in a World Series game in 2011 … With his one inning of relief, Reyes surpassed the 50-inning mark for his career that still will make him eligible for Rookie of the Year honors this season … One of a group of minor-leaguers who were released on Friday was catcher Jeremy Martinez, who had been in the major-league camp this spring as a non-roster player. He was caught up in a numbers crunch at Double A Springfield.

Looking ahead: Dakota Hudson will make his first major-league start on Saturday night in the third-game of the four-game series.

Photo by AP courtesy of KSDK Sports

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