Friday’s Game Report: Cardinals 6, Pirates 2
By Rob Rains
Paul Goldschmidt came to bat in the eighth inning Friday night with his streak of hitting a home run in five consecutive games against the Pirates on the line.
More importantly the game was on the line too, tied 2-2, with the Cardinals trying to snap a five-game losing streak.
Goldschmidt did not hit a home run, but his single had almost the same impact, driving in Dexter Fowler from second and triggering the Cardinals’ biggest inning in a week as they beat the Pirates at Busch Stadium.
Marcell Ozuna followed with a two-run homer and a three-base error and a sacrifice fly produced another run.
The Cardinals had scored a total of seven runs in their five-game losing streak and just four in their previous four games.
Here is how the game broke down:
At the plate: Goldschmidt had snapped an 0-of-15 streak with a single in the first inning. That hit loaded the bases for the Cardinals just four pitches into their half of the first, but they could only get one run home when Ozuna grounded into a double play … A double by Matt Carpenter, his first extra-base hit since he hit a triple against Oakland on June 25, led to the Cardinals’ second run in the fourth as he later scored on an RBI single from Matt Wieters … That was their last hit before Fowler doubled leading off the eighth … Ozuna’s homer was his 22nd of the year and second since coming off the injured list … Carpenter’s sacrifice fly drove in the final run of the inning … Goldschmidt fell one game short of the major-league record of homering in six consecutive games against the Pirates.
On the mound: Dakota Hudson was lifted for a pinch-hitter with the score tied at 2 in the fourth inning, two outs and runners on first and second. He allowed six hits and did not walk or strike out a hitter in the no-decision … The Cardinals now have only one win (by Flaherty) from a starting pitcher in their last 12 games dating back to July 26 … Four relievers combined to allow the Pirates just one hit over the final five innings, although they did issue three walks, but let just one runner reach second base. Carlos Martinez got the win, allowing one walk in the final 1 1/3 innings after Tyler Webb pitched 1 1/3 innings, John Brebbia 1 2/3 and Andrew Miller 2/3 of an inning.
Key stat: The Cardinals had not scored more than one run in an inning in their last five games and the four-run eighth broke a streak of 54 consecutive innings without scoring more than one run, dating back to a four-run sixth against the Cubs on Aug. 1.
Worth noting: Yadier Molina is expected to play at least one more game in Springfield on his rehab assignment and could very well be activated by the Cardinals when they play Tuesday in Kansas City. Molina had a single in three at-bats on Friday night before coming out of the game after the sixth inning … Alex Reyes will get a second opinion, as recommended by Cardinals’ doctors, about his sore right shoulder. An examination in St. Louis found that nothing had “changed dramatically” in Reyes’ shoulder, which they considered good news. He has not pitched since a June 28 start for Memphis because of what has been called right pectoral discomfort … Nolan Gorman had two homers and a double in the first game of a doubleheader for Palm Beach on Friday night. He now has a combined 15 homers this season between Peoria and Palm Beach … The Cardinals tried to wish manager Mike Shildt a happy birthday with a message on the videoboard between innings Friday night but misspelled his last name as “Schildt.”
Looking ahead: Adam Wainwright will get the start on Saturday night in the second game of the series.
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Post-Game Interview with Mike Shildt: