Wednesday’s Game Report: Cardinals 5, Mariners 2
With the Cardinals trailing the Mariners 2-0 going to the ninth inning on Wednesday night in Seattle, with just five hits through the first eight innings, it seemed likely the game report was going to be about another quiet night for the team’s offense.
What happened in the ninth, however, might have just awakened the Cardinals from their season-long slumber.
The Cardinals erupted for five runs, with rookie Tommy Edman providing the biggest blow, a three-run, pinch-hit homer after they had scored twice to tie the game, to pull off the stunning victory.
The Cardinals had been 2-39 this season when trailing after eight innings.
The rally began with a leadoff single by Jose Martinez. With one out, Paul Goldschmidt singled and Paul O’Neill drew a walk to load the bases. A single by Dexter Fowler drove in the first run and Yadier Molina’s sacrifice fly brought in the tying run.
That brought Edman to the plate, batting for Kolten Wong, and he launched a 2-2 pitch over the left-field wall for his third homer of the year.
It was the first pinch-hit, go-ahead home run in the ninth inning by the Cardinals since Nick Stavinoha homered off Trevor Hoffman in Milwaukee on April 9, 2010.
The win allowed the Cardinals to pick up a game on both the Cubs and Brewers, who both lost on Wednesday night. They are now back to .500 for the season at 42-42 and are just 2 ½ games out of first place in the NL Central.
Here’s how the game broke down:
At the plate: Former Cardinal Mike Leake, who is still being paid $5 million this year by the Cardinals, shut them out through 7 2/3 innings before coming out of the game … The Cardinals were 0-of-7 with runners in scoring position off Leake and were just 1-of-12 in the first two games in Seattle before the ninth inning … Both of Edman’s first two home runs had come batting lefthanded. He had been 2-of-8 as a pinch-hitter since he was called up from Memphis …It was the Cardinals’ fifth pinch-hit home run this season … The last time the Cardinals scored five runs in an inning was in the fifth inning on May 18 at Texas.
On the mound: Adam Wainwright allowed just one hit through the first four innings before giving up a solo homer with one out in the fifth. He left the game after allowing a leadoff single in the sixth, and that run came around to score on a wild pitch by Tyler Webb … John Brebbia got the final out of the inning and struck out six of the seven hitters he faced, the most in his career, through the eighth inning. The other out came on a fly ball … Andrew Miller got the first two outs in the ninth, both by strikeouts, before Carlos Martinez came out to get the final out … Eight of the Mariners last 10 outs came on strikeouts.
Key stat: The last Cardinal before Edman to hit a pinch-hit, three-run homer in the ninth inning was Eduardo Perez in the first game of a doubleheader against the Cubs on Aug. 31, 2002.
Worth noting: The Cardinals reinstated right-hander Ryan Helsley from the injured list and optioned him to Memphis … Dylan Carlson, heading to the Futures Game on Sunday in Cleveland, hit his 13th homer for Springfield on Wednesday night, tied for the second most in the Texas League … The Cardinals have until July 12 to sign their remaining unsigned draft picks. Three of their top 21 picks have not signed – outfielder Tommy Jew (13th round) left-handed pitcher Zarion Sharpe (19th round) and left-handed pitcher Jake Owen (21st round). Jew is expected to sign; the Cardinals hope Sharpe will sign but don’t believe Owen will sign.
Looking ahead: The Cardinals will send Michael Wacha to the mound for the Fourth of July start on Thursday which will wrap up the three-game series.