Saturday’s Game Report: Cardinals sweep doubleheader from Reds
The Labor Day weekend baseball marathon could not have started any better for the Cardinals on Saturday.
In the first of back-to-back day-night doubleheaders, the Cardinals swept the Reds, getting a walkoff single from Matt Carpenter to cap a two-run rally to win the nightcap 3-2 at Busch Stadium.
In the day game, the Cardinals jumped out to an 8-2 lead before finishing a 10-6 victory.
The two wins, combined with the Cubs loss to the Brewers, gave the Cardinals a 2 ½ game lead over the Cubs in the NL Central heading into September.
Starting with the afternoon game, the Cardinals will play five games in about 51 hours between the first pitch on Saturday and the final pitch of the game on Monday against the Giants. Four of those games, against the Reds, will be played in about 34 hours between Saturday and Sunday.
The two wins pushed the Cardinals to a season-high 16 games over .500.
Here is how the games broke down:
At the plate: The Cardinals had been held to just three hits until the seventh inning of the night game when Dexter Fowler’s RBI single cut the Reds lead to 2-1. They trailed by that margin going to the ninth, when Tommy Edman led off with a single, his third hit of the game, went to second when Yadier Molina was hit by a pitch and scored the tying run on a single by Harrison Bader. Carpenter came on as a pinch-hitter and drove in the winning run with a single to right … Molina and Fowler homered in the day game, with Fowler finishing with three hits and Kolten Wong, Paul Goldschmidt and Molina all collecting two RBIs … Fowler went 5-of-9 in the doubleheader.
On the mound: Both Dakota Hudson and Michael Wacha turned in strong starts for the Cardinals but only Hudson got a win to show for it. He allowed four hits in 7 2/3 innings, being charged with two runs that scored after he came out of the game … Wacha allowed only three hits over seven innings, but two of them were home runs, including one from Josh Van Meter on the first pitch of the game … The rally gave the win to John Gant, now 10-0 on the season with all of the wins coming in relief.
Key stat: Wong was 3-of-6 in the doubleheader o cap off the best month of his career. He was 28-of-75 in August, a .373 average.
Worth noting: The last time the Cardinals played back-to-back doubleheaders at home was in 1994 … Van Meter’s homer was the second allowed by the Cardinals on the first pitch of the game. Adam Frazier of the Pirates did it against Adam Wainwright on Aug. 10. Prior to that game it had not happened since 2014 … The Cardinals finished with an 18-9 record for August … Genesis Cabrera was called up from Memphis to serve as the 26th man for the night game but did not pitch … The Cardinals will add several more players, including catcher Andrew Knizner, to the roster on Sunday when the rosters can be expanded. Jose Martinez also will be activated from the injured list. A few additional players will join the Cardinals on Tuesday after Memphis’ season ends on Monday.
Looking ahead: One of the pitchers being added to the roster on Sunday will be Daniel Ponce de Leon, who will start the night game. Miles Mikolas will get the start in the day game.