Tuesday’s Game Report: Cardinals 7, Marlins 1
A good portion of the Cardinals’ struggles on the road this season can be traced to the performance of their starting pitchers.
The last two nights, Michael Wacha and Dakota Hudson have attempted to change that, with positive results.
After Wacha worked six shutout innings on Monday night, Hudson got the start on Tuesday night in Miami and allowed only one run over a career-high seven innings as the Cardinals won consecutive games on the road for the first time since April 30 and May 1.
The back-to-back wins gave the Cardinals their first series victory since that series in Washington at the end of April and the start of May.
Hudson already had the best road ERA among Cardinals’ starters this year coming into the game, at 4.39, and he became the first starter this season to pitch seven innings in a road game.
Here is how the game broke down:
At the plate: It was a 1-1 game in the sixth inning when the Cardinals took advantage of three consecutive walks, one to Harrison Bader with the bases loaded, and a throwing error to score two runs … They blew the game open with three runs in the eighth, highlighted by a two-run single by pinch-hitter Jose Martinez, who had not driven in a run in his previous 35 at-bats dating back to May 18. He had been 3-of-35 over that stretch … Kolten Wong reached base four times on two hits and two walks and scored twice … Yadier Molina returned to the lineup and had a single and double in five at-bats … Marcell Ozuna capped the scoring with a ninth-inning home run, his 18th of the season in the first 65 games. It’s the most home runs by a Cardinal to this point in the season since Albert Pujols had 23 in 2009.
On the mound: Hudson allowed just four hits, walked two and struck out four as he lowered his season ERA to 3.47. Twelve of his 21 outs came on ground balls … The previous longest outing by a Cardinals’ starter on the road this season was 6 1/3 innings by Adam Wainwright on April 30 at Washington … Two of the hits off Hudson produced the Marlins only run in the fourth, interrupted when he hit a batter with a pitch … Hudson retired 11 of the last 12 hitters he faced … Giovanny Gallegos allowed a single in the eighth before John Brebbia pitched a 1-2-3 ninth with two strikeouts.
Key stat: The 13 hits by the Cardinals were their most in their last 23 games dating back to May 14 when they had 14 hits and scored 14 runs at Atlanta. It was only the second time in the last 16 games that they had five extra-base hits.
Worth noting: The Cardinals made a roster move for the fourth consecutive day, activating Molina and optioning Andrew Knizner back to Memphis … Wong’s stolen base made him 11-of-11 in steal attempts this season. Since caught stealing became an official statistic in 1941, the only Cardinal to steal 11 or more bases in a season without being caught stealing was Tyler Greene, who was 11-of-11 in 2011 … The Cardinals’ signed their top pick in last week’s draft, left-handed pitcher Zack Thompson, on Tuesday. It has not been determined where he will begin his minor-league career. Also signing on Wednesday were fifth-round pick Connor Thomas, also a left-handed pitcher; outfielder Todd Lott, their ninth-round pick and outfielder David Vinsky, selected in the 15th round.
Looking ahead: Miles Mikolas will get the start on Wednesday night as the Cardinals attempt to sweep their first three-game series on the road this season.