Friday’s Game Report: Cardinals use late rallies to win two games over Mets
It was a case of late being better than never for the Cardinals on Friday night – twice.
A rally that began on Thursday night before the game against the Mets was suspended because of rain ended in a 5-4 win for the Cardinals in 10 innings before the Cardinals rallied again to beat the Mets 9-5 in the regularly scheduled game in New York.
The two wins came in games the Cardinals trailed going into the eighth inning. Before those games, the Cardinals had been 3-27 this season when trailing after seven innings.
Before Thursday night’s game was suspended, Harrison Bader – playing for the first time as a Cardinal in his hometown of New York – tied the game with a ninth inning double after Kolten Wong had singled in a run.
It marked the first time this season the Cardinals scored multiple runs in the ninth inning to tie a game.
In the regularly scheduled game, the Cardinals trailed 5-4 going to the eighth before home runs from Paul DeJong and Dexter Fowler, a three-run bomb, gave the Cardinals the lead.
Combined, the Cardinals scored eight runs after the eighth inning to pull out the two victories.
Here is how the game broke down:
At the plate: The Cardinals also got a three-run pinch-hit homer from Jose Martinez in the fifth inning and a solo shot from Wong in the ninth in the second game … The Cardinals had only one single in the game but added three doubles to go with the four homers. One of the doubles was the first hit in the majors for Tommy Edman, who made his first career start, playing second base … DeJong’s homer tied the game after the Mets had taken a 5-4 lead in the seventh. He also hit a homer in the sixth inning of the first game on Thursday night. He has now hit five homers in nine career games in New York and has at least in his last three games … Fowler’s homer came with him in a 7-of-51 slump since May 22 … The Cardinals won the opener when pinch-hitter Yairo Munoz led off the 10th with a single, stole second and scored on a single by Dejong.
On the mound: The win in the second game went to reliever John Gant, who is now 6-0 on the season. He inherited a bases-loaded, no outs jam from Andrew Miller in the seventh and allowed all three runs to score but then pitched the final two innings without allowing a run after the Cardinals took the lead … Daniel Ponce de Leon started the second game and allowed just one run on two hits but walked four and threw 71 pitches in four innings … Carlos Martinez got the win in the first game, needing only 12 pitches to get the three outs, before Jordan Hicks threw only six pitches and got three ground ball outs to earn his 14th save.
Key stat: The home runs from Martinez and Wong in the second game both came out of the ninth spot in the batting order. It’s only the second time since 1951 the Cardinals hit two homers out of that spot by players who did not start the game. The only other time it happened in the last 68 years was when Greg Garcia and Jeremy Hazelbaker did it on April 8, 2016.
Worth noting: The four homers in the second game were the most for the Cardinals in a game in New York since they hit four in the first game of a doubleheader on Aug. 22, 1999 … Martinez became only the second Cardinal since 1979 to hit a three-run pinch-hit homer against the Mets. The last to do it was Placido Polanco in 2000 … One of the Mets’ runs came on a homer from pitcher Steven Matz, the fifth homer allowed by the Cardinals this season to an opposing pitcher … Dominc Leone was brought up from Memphis to be the 26th man for the second game but did not pitch … Outfielder Dylan Carlson and left-handed pitcher Austin Warner were named to the Texas League All-Star team on Friday. At 20, Carlson was the youngest player selected for the game … The Cardinals signed four more of their recent draft picks on Friday, including eighth-rounder Logan Gragg. The Cardinals have now signed eight of their top 10 selections. Also signing were Tyler Statler (14th round), Michael YaSenka (15th round) and Jeremy Rutledge (26th round).
Looking ahead: Michael Wacha will get the start on Saturday night. He is coming off six shutout innings in Miami in his last start.