Monday’s Game Report: Cardinals 4, Marlins 1
Sometimes it’s more important where a ball is hit than how hard it is hit.
That was the case in the sixth inning on Monday night, when a bunt by Kolten Wong that traveled only about 20 feet down the third base line turned into two runs as the Cardinals snapped their three-game losing streak with a win over the Marlins in Miami.
The bunt, which was ruled a sacrifice even though Wong appeared likely to beat the throw to first, came with runners on first and second and both scored when catcher Jorge Alfaro’s throw sailed down the right field line. Wong went to third on the play and later scored on a sacrifice fly.
Michael Wacha returned to the starting rotation and pitched six shutout innings.
Here is how the game broke down:
At the plate: The Cardinals led 1-0 before scoring the three runs in the sixth, their first run coming on doubles in the fourth inning by Marcell Ozuna and Yairo Munoz, who got the start at shortstop in place of Paul DeJong … Paul Goldschmidt singled leading off the sixth before Ozuna walked, setting the stage for Wong’s bunt. Wong was batting fifth for the first time since 2017 … Ozuna also had a single, collecting two of the Cardinals’ four hits against former Cardinals prospect Sandy Alcantara, who was traded to the Marlins in the deal for Ozuna … It was the first time the Cardinals won a game, scoring four or more runs and recording four or less hits, and no home runs, since June 8, 2008 against Houston.
On the mound: Making his first start since May 22, Wacha allowed just five hits over six innings, walking two and striking out four. He was helped out by three double plays. It was the 17th time Wacha has pitched six or more innings and not allowed a run in his 137 career starts, the first time he has done it since June 3 of last year … The only Miami run scored against John Gant in the seventh. After Gant worked two innings, Jordan Hicks allowed a leadoff single in the ninth but then finished off his 13th save, striking out the last two Miami batters.
Key stat: It was the fifth time in the Cardinals’ 64 games this season that their starting pitcher worked six or more scoreless innings. Jack Flaherty has done it twice, and Miles Mikolas and Adam Wainwright once each.
Worth noting: The announced attendance of 6,585 was the smallest for a Cardinals game at a major-league stadium (not counting the 2017 game at Williamsport, Pa.) since they drew 5,611 for a game in Montreal on May 8, 2004 … After being sent down to Triple A Memphis on Sunday, Ryan Helsley was brought back 24 hours later when Adam Wainwright was placed on the injured list on Monday. It’s the seventh time Helsley has shuffled between the Cardinals and Memphis since April 16. Wainwright has a left hamstring string and will miss his next scheduled start on Friday in New York, which is expected to go to Daniel Ponce de Leon … One of the Cardinals’ top prospects, third baseman Elehuris Montero who has been playing at Double A Springfield, is going to be out for several weeks because of a broken hamate bone in his hand … The Cardinals announced their first six signings from last week’s draft – RHP Jake Sommers (10th round), OF Patrick Romeri (12th), INF Brylie Ware (23rd), RHP Will Guay (24th), RHP Cameron Dulle (30th) and INF Chandler Redmond (32nd) … The Cardinals also announced that tickets, for $20 each, will go on sale at 2 p.m. on Tuesday for a watch party at Busch Stadium for game seven of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday night between the Blues and Bruins in Boston. Tickets will be sold only at cardinals.com/hockey. Proceeds will be split between the Cardinals and Blues charities.
Looking ahead: Dakota Hudson will get the start on Tuesday in the second game of the series.