Wednesday’s Game Report: Cardinals 7, Dodgers 2
By Rob Rains
Paul DeJong has not hidden the fact that he likes hitting third in the Cardinals’ batting order and so far this season, it seems to be working out quite nicely.
DeJong extended his hitting streak to a career-high 11 games on Wednesday night with his fourth consecutive multi-hit game as he drove in a run and scored three times in the Cardinals’ third consecutive win over the Dodgers at Busch Stadium.
Since going 0-of-4 on opening day in Milwaukee, DeJong is 16-of-44, a .364 average. Not all of those at-bats have come in the third spot, however, as he has started twice hitting in the fifth spot.
On Wednesday night he beat out an infield hit in the fourth and later came around to score. In the sixth he followed a single from Paul Goldschmidt with his third career triple. It was his fourth consecutive game with at least one extra-base hit. He then capped his big night with his third hit, a single, leading off the eighth.
The Cardinals extended their winning streak to four consecutive games, beginning with Sunday’s win over the Padres. They will be trying to complete their first four-game sweep of the Dodgers on Thursday since 2010.
The win also allowed the Cardinals to pull even with the Dodgers in the all-time series between the two clubs, who played for the first time in 1892. Each has now won 1,029 times in the series.
Here is how the game broke down:
At the plate: Marcell Ozuna doubled, stole third and scored on a groundout by Yadier Molina to put the Cardinals ahead in the second … Dexter Fowler’s single produced his first RBI of the season in the fourth, driving in DeJong, and Molina capped the three-run sixth with a two-run homer, his first of the season … Ozuna third hit of the night closed out the scoring with a two-run homer, his third of the year, off the left-field foul pole following DeJong’s single in the eighth.
On the mound: Both of the Dodgers’ runs came off solo homers, one off starter Jack Flaherty in the sixth and one off Tyler Webb in the seventh … The homer was one of only three hits allowed by Flaherty over six innings. He did not walk a batter and struck out in winning his first game of the season … He got Justin Fowler ground into a double play to end the first inning on the 14th pitch of the at-bat … In the first three games of the series Cardinals pitchers have limited the Dodgers to five runs in 27 innings, and two of those came in the first inning of the opening game.
Key stat: This is the third time in Molina’s career he has driven in three or more runs in consecutive games. He did it twice in 2017, and no other Cardinal has done it since.
Worth noting: The Cardinal who might be the most excited about the team’s trip to Mexico this weekend is reliever Giovanny Gallegos. He is the only player on the team who was born in Mexico and still Iives in the country in the off-season, even though his hometown of Sonora is about a 20-hour drive from Monterrey, where the Cardinals will be playing the Reds. Gallegos’ parents will be coming to the games, he said. “It feels good to come back to Mexico,” Gallegos said. “There are a lot of baseball fans there.” Gallegos said the only time he has been in Monterrey was a few years ago when he was playing in the Mexican League … After three appearances with Palm Beach, Luke Gregerson’s rehab tour will move to Springfield starting on Friday … The Cardinals have assigned pitcher Chris Ellis to Memphis after the Rule 5 draft pick was returned to the organization by the Royals.
Looking ahead: The Cardinals and Dodgers will conclude their four-game series with a 12:15 p.m. game on Thursday. Michael Wacha, who tied his career high with 119 pitches in his last game, will get the start. The Cardinals will leave for Mexico following the game, then have Friday off before playing the Reds on Saturday and Sunday.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains
Mike Shildt, Marcell Ozuna, Paul DeJong, Jack Flaherty