Wednesday’s Game Report: Athletics 2, Cardinals 0
By Rob Rains
The way the Cardinals offense has been performing of late meant that Adam Wainwright was not operating with much margin of error in his 300th career start on Wednesday night at Busch Stadium.
Wainwright went out and delivered a quality start but did not get any offensive support and when two of his 105 pitches ended up going over the fence the result was another frustrating loss.
The Cardinals were shut out for the sixth time this year and managed only five hits, two of them by Tommy Edman, making his first start in place of Matt Carpenter in the leadoff spot.
Oakland’s Daniel Mengden was recalled from Triple A to make the start. In his last game for Las Vegas, Mengden pitched against the Cardinals’ Memphis affiliate on June 16 and allowed five hits and five runs in 4 1/3 innings.
On Wednesday night he had six scoreless innings against the Cardinals, allowing just four hits.
Here is how the game broke down:
At the plate: Other than the singles by Edman in the first and third innings, the Cardinals’ only other hits were a one-out bloop single by Dexter Fowler in the fifth, a one-out single by Paul Goldschmidt in the sixth and a one-out double by Marcell Ozuna in the ninth … They had only three at-bats with a runner in scoring position … Goldschmidt moved back to the second spot in the order and struck out three times in addition to his single while Paul DeJong was back in the third spot and was hitless in four at-bats, striking out twice … The Cardinals have been held to two runs or less in 22 of their 79 games.
On the mound: Wainwright gave up a homer on an 0-2 pitch to catcher Beau Taylor in the fourth inning and a homer to Matt Chapman with two outs in the seventh on what turned out to be his final pitch of the game … Wainwright scattered seven hits, walked one and struck out nine … Taylor’s homer was only the second off Wainwright in his career on an 0-2 count. The other was hit by Carlos Gomez, then on the Brewers, in 2013 … Wainwright had allowed only two home runs in his previous 41 innings … Giovanny Gallegos pitched around a two-out single in the eighth before John Gant worked a 1-2-3 ninth.
Key stat: The Cardinals have scored in only two of their last 29 innings, getting four runs in the ninth inning on Sunday night and three in the second inning on Tuesday night. Out of the other 27 innings, they have been retired in order 11 times.
Worth noting: The operation on Jordan Hicks’ right elbow on Wednesday went as expected, according to general manager Michael Girsch … Edman was the sixth player to start in the leadoff spot for the Cardinals. Carpenter has started 64 games, posting a .208 average while drawing 40 walks. The other four combined (Harrison Bader, Yairo Munoz, Kolten Wong and Dexter Fowler) were 9-of-60, a .150 average, with three walks in 14 games … Mike Mayers needed just six pitches to work a 1-2-3 inning as he began his rehab assignment in Memphis Wednesday night but Ryan Helsley struggled in his first rehab appearance, failing to retire any of the four hitters he faced. He issued three walks and gave up a ground-rule double before coming out of the game … Pitcher Jake Woodford and first baseman Rangel Ravelo of Memphis were named on Wednesday to the PCL team that will play in the Triple A All-Star game in two weeks.
Looking ahead: The Cardinals have a day off on Thursday before opening a weekend series on Friday night in San Diego. That will begin a nine-game trip with other stops in Seattle and San Francisco that will lead up to the All-Star break.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains