Tuesday’s Game Report: Royals 5, Cardinals 4

Tuesday’s Game Report: Royals 5, Cardinals 4

By Rob Rains

Trevor Rosenthal was on the mound, pitching the ninth inning in a save situation at Busch Stadium Tuesday night for the first time in more than three years.

This game, however, was unlike that last game, or any of the other games when Rosenthal was pitching for the Cardinals.

Rosenthal was facing the Cardinals for the first time in his career. He recorded the save by stranding the would-be tying run at third base after Harrison Bader tripled with one out but the Cardinals failed to drive him in.

Rosenthal hit the next batter, Kolten Wong, before striking out Tommy Edman and getting Paul Goldschmidt to ground into a fielder’s choice to end the game.

Manager Mike Shildt was the manager when Rosenthal broke into pro baseball with the rookie league Johnson City Cardinals in 2010.

“I’ve always appreciated Trevor,” said Shildt, who also was managing him in 2012 in Double A in Springfield when he told Rosenthal that he was going to the major leagues. “He had a really nice run with us and I’m glad he’s back being able to do what I know he loves to do, being able to pitch at the end of the game.

“I’d have liked for a different result, but it’s good to see him back in the game and be healthy and doing well.”

Rosenthal’s last appearance at Busch Stadium was on Aug. 12, 2017, only a few days before he made his final appearance for the Cardinals in Boston and then underwent Tommy John surgery. He missed all of 2018, the Cardinals declined to offer him a new contract, and he split last season between Washington and Detroit before signing with Kansas City as a free agent last winter.

He has been nearly perfect for the Royals, going 7-for-7 in save opportunities.

Here is how the game broke down:

At the plate: The Cardinals lost another chance to tie the game in the eighth when Paul DeJong tried to score from first on a double to left center by Yadier Molina but was thrown out at the plate. Shildt defended third base coach Jose Oquendo’s decision to try to score DeJong. “In the history of baseball he may be one of the best third base coaches we have in the game,” Shildt said. “He made a decision, saw something, took his shot. It didn’t work out.” … The Cardinals let a 4-2 lead slip away scoring all of their runs in the third on a two-run double by Tommy Edman and RBI singles from Brad Miller and DeJong … DeJong had three hits … Goldschmidt drew a walk for the 10th consecutive game.

On the mound: Adam Wainwright thought the turning point of the game came in the third inning, when he issued back-to-back walks with two outs, then gave up an RBI single. “You can’t give free passes,” he said. “Even though we ended up taking the lead and I blew the lead in the sixth (allowing a home run) that run right there (in the third) was the difference in the game. That’s the run I look at. Two walks, with two outs and nobody on, that’s pretty hard to swallow.” Wainwright pitched through the seventh and left with the game tied 4-4 … In the eighth, John Gant allowed a leadoff single before a two-out walk advanced the runner to second and he scored the go-ahead run on another single.

Key stat: Rosenthal saved 65 games at Busch Stadium for the Cardinals, the last coming in his last Busch Stadium appearance on Aug. 12, 2017.

Worth noting: After playing in the Cardinals’ first 18 games, Matt Carpenter got the day off on Tuesday night. That moved Brad Miller into the cleanup spot, the fourth player to hit there in the Cardinals’ first 19 games. Miller has now started games hitting second, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh … Dylan Carlson recorded the first two outfield assists of his career … Lane Thomas and Austin Dean, recovering from COVID-19, have reported to the satellite camp in Springfield to get in some work in hopes of rejoining the team.

Looking ahead: Dakota Hudson will get the start on Wednesday night in the final game of the series.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains

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For the latest news and features in St. Louis Sports check out STLSportsPage.com. Rob Rains, Editor.