Sunday’s Game Report: Rangers 5, Cardinals 4 (10 innings)
A game-tying home run in the ninth inning and a go-ahead run in the 10th were not enough to get the Cardinals a win on Sunday in Texas.
The Cardinals tried to push Jordan Hicks into a third inning of work and the move backfired when the Rangers scored twice in the 10th to win the game and extend the Cardinals’ struggles so far this month.
Hicks had faced five batters and thrown 22 pitches before going back out for the 10th. He gave up a leadoff single and a walk before pinch-hitter Willie Calhoun’s RBI single tied the game.
The Cardinals pulled Hicks at that point and brought in Carlos Martinez. After an intentional walk loaded the bases, Martinez got a strike out but a sacrifice fly drove in the winning run and gave the Cardinals their second walk-off loss of the season.
The Cardinals saw their record in May fall to 5-13. They have not won consecutive games this month.
Here is how the game broke down:
At the plate: Dexter Fowler tied the game with his third home run of the year with one out in the ninth. He fell behind 0-2, took two balls, then fouled off four pitches before launching his third home run of the year into the right field seats … In the 10th, Harrison Bader – starting in the leadoff spot – doubled, went to third on a ground out and scored on a sacrifice fly from Paul DeJong … That was the third RBI of the game for DeJong, who also doubled in two runs in the first inning … After that double the Cardinals had only one hit before Marcell Ozuna doubled with two outs in the eighth … The first-inning double also was the Cardinals only hit in seven at-bats with a runner in scoring position. They were a combined 4-of-25 in the three-game series and are just 4-of-35 in their last five games.
On the mound: Jack Flaherty allowed two runs over six innings, including the second leadoff homer he has given up in his career. The second run came after a leadoff walk and a double by Hunter Pence in the fourth … The Rangers took a 3-2 lead in the eighth on a homer off Andrew Miller, pitching a second inning. It was the fifth homer allowed by Miller in 17 innings this season … The Cardinals wanted to get Hicks into the game after he had pitched one-third of an inning total in the previous eight games and he gave up an infield hit, then retired four batters in a row before being asked to go back out to start the 10th. He threw a career-high 39 pitches.
Key stat: DeJong, who drove in four runs on Saturday night, is the first Cardinals’ shortstop to record three or more RBIs in consecutive games since Edgar Renteria did it in 2003.
Worth noting: The homer by Fowler was the second game-tying, ninth-inning homer in his career. The other came on April 1, 2013 when he was on the Rockies playing at Milwaukee … It was the first game-tying homer in the ninth inning for the Cardinals this season … Manager Mike Shildt was ejected in the fourth inning after two questionable strike calls against Fowler. It was Shildt’s first ejection of the season and third of his career, all of which have come on ball=strike calls … The Cardinals’ other walk-off loss this season was on March 31 at Milwaukee in the third game of the year … At Double A Springfield, Dylan Carlson homered again on Sunday, his seventh of the year and fourth in his last five games.
Looking ahead: The Cardinals have the day off on Monday, their first of three off days in the next eight days. They will play a quick two-game series against the Royals at Busch Stadium beginning on Tuesday night.