Sunday’s Game Report: Astros 6, Cardinals 2
By Rob Rains
Sometimes the reason why a team loses a game can be traced to a singular moment – one pitch, one play, one at-bat.
That wasn’t the case for the Cardinals on Sunday, who had a long list of things that didn’t go right in their loss to the Astros.
The list started with the second pitch of the game from Dakota Hudson, which George Springer hit for a home run. Hudson allowed two more homers later in the game, accounting for five of the Astros’ runs.
Toss in missed opportunities on offense – the Cardinals were 1-of-10 with runners in scoring position – and their first two-error game since June 9, and it made for a long, hot afternoon at Busch Stadium.
Paul Goldschmidt also saw his home run streak end at six games as he went 1-of-5, with his only hit a two-out single in the ninth inning.
The loss, combined with the Cubs’ win over the Brewers, left the two teams tied for first place in the NL Central coming into their series this week. It’s the first time the Cardinals have lost two consecutive games since the final two games before the All-Star break.
Here is how the game broke down:
At the plate: The Cardinals only trailed 2-0 when they loaded the bases with one out in the third but failed to score as Paul DeJong struck out and Matt Wieters grounded out … They also left four other runners on base in scoring position … Their only two-hit game came from Tommy Edman, who singled in the third and fourth .., They scored their first run in the sixth when Kolten Wong singled with two outs and came home on a pinch-hit double by Rangel Ravelo, the first extra-base hit and first RBI of his career … Dexter Fowler hit his first pinch-hit home run since 2012 leading off the ninth for the second run … The Cardibals have now homered in 12 consecutive games … For the three-game series the Cardinals were a combined 3-of-22 with runners in scoring position. Their only hit Sunday was a single from Tyler O’Neill in the third, but Edman was forced to stop at third.
On the mound: The five runs allowed by Hudson were the most he had allowed since giving up six on April 15 in his fourth start of the season. He saw his four-game winning streak end as the Cardinals lost for only the second time in his last 13 starts dating back to May 18 … The home run by Springer and two hits in the first increased his totals to 13 runs and 27 hits allowed in the first inning this year in 21 starts, the most by any Cardinals starter … He also fave up a solo homer to Yordan Alvarez in the third and a three-run homer to Jose Altuve in the fifth, the third time this season he has allowed three homers in a game … John Gant gave up three hits and the final Houston run in the eighth before Tyler Webb struck out the side in the ninth.
Key stat: Harrison Bader made only his second start since July 16 and was hitless in four at-bats, striking out twice. He is now 3-of-26 since the All-Star break with no RBIs and 11 strikeouts. That stretch has dropped his average for the season to .195.
Worth noting: Springer’s homer was the second leadoff homer at Busch this season and the 18th in stadium history. It was the first regular-season leadoff homer for the Astros in St. Louis since Craig Biggio hit one on July 5, 1994 … If Marcell Ozuna gets medial clearance on Monday he is expected to join Jedd Gyorko on Tuesday in Memphis to begin a rehab assignment … Nolan Gorman was not in the lineup for Class A Palm Beach on Sunday after Dylan Carlson did not play for Springfield on Saturday night, but both players, the top two prospects in the organization, were just getting a regular day off. Carlson was back in Springfield’s lineup on Sunday night.
Looking ahead: After Monday’s day off, the Cubs arrive on Tuesday to begin a three-game series. Adam Wainwright will be opposed by Yu Darvish on Tuesday night, with Miles Mikolas and Kyle Hendricks the scheduled starters on Wednesday night and Jack Flaherty and Jon Lester on Thursday night.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains
Post-Game: Mike Shildt Interview