Friday’s Game Report: Cardinals 2, Cubs 1 (10 innings)
By Rob Rains
It took an extra inning on the final day of the month – with less than 90 minutes to spare before May turned to June – but the Cardinals finally won a second game in a row in the month on Friday night at Busch Stadium.
With the Cubs using five infielders, four on the right side, with one out and the bases loaded in the 10th, Matt Carpenter was able to launch a fly ball down the left field line which scored Kolten Wong with the winning run.
Wong, hitting .155 in May and just waiting for the month to end, delivered a one-out double to begin the 10th and went to third on back to back walks before Carpenter snapped an 0-of-29 streak by the team’s leadoff hitters with the game-winning hit.
The Cardinals finished with a 9-18 record in May, tying the most losses in the month since they also lost 18 in May of 1980.
“Good win,” said manager Mike Shildt, knowing his team’s last winning streak came from April 27 to May 1.
Here is how the game broke down:
At the plate: The Cardinals had only three hits through the first nine innings; singles by Paul Goldschmidt in the fourth, Wong’s bunt in the fifth and by Marcell Ozuna in the sixth … The single by Goldschmidt was his first in 13 career at-bats against Yu Darvish. His 0-of-12 against Darvish was his most at-bats against a pitcher without a hit in his career … Dexter Fowler’s baserunning blunder on Wong’s bunt single might have cost the Cardinals a run. He failed to slide and could not stay on second base and was tagged out … Harrison Bader was hit by a pitch before Carpenter took a called third strike to end the inning … Wong had just two hits in his last 33 at-bats coming into the game … The Cardinals’ first run scored on a sacrifice fly by Ozuna in the first, his 50th RBI in his first 54 games of the season.
On the mound: Miles Mikolas allowed just one run over seven innings, the third time in his last five starts he has allowed no more than one run. The run scored in the second on a leadoff double, a groundout and a sacrifice fly by pitcher Yu Darvish … Carlos Martinez worked a 1-2-3 eighth and without a save possibility, Jordan Hicks relieved to start the ninth and went two innings, pitching around a walk in both the ninth and 10th and earned the victory.
Key stat: The win also was the first one-run victory for the Cardinals in May after losing seven consecutive one-run decisions. They also had been 0-13 this year when scoring two or fewer runs.
Worth noting: The Cardinals placed Yadier Molina on the injured list before Friday night’s game after an MRI showed that he had a slight tear in the tendon between his right thumb and forefinger. How long Molina will be out could be determined in the next couple of days after his scheduled exam on Friday with a hand specialist, said team president John Mozeliak. Andrew Knizner’s contract was purchased from Memphis, where he has played much better defensively this season, throwing out 17 of 32 would-be basestealers. “He has earned the opportunity,” said Shildt. The Cardinals had an open spot on the 40-man roster after releasing Luke Gregerson. Knizner, who arrived at Busch Stadium shortly before game time, will wear number 7 … Alex Reyes will make his next start on Sunday at Memphis even though Mozeliak said he had not been 100 percent cleared to swing the bat … Also on Sunday, prospect Griffin Roberts, just coming off a 50-game suspension for a positive test for smoking marijuana, is expected to make his first start this season for Palm Beach. Roberts was the second player selected by the Cardinals in last June’s draft.
Looking ahead: Jack Flaherty will get the start on Saturday in the second game of the series and the first game in June, set for a 6:15 first pitch. The game will be televised by Fox.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains
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