Monday’s Game Report: Cardinals 7, Reds 5

Monday’s Game Report: Cardinals 7, Reds 5

By Rob Rains

When he was meeting with the media in a zoom call before Monday night’s game, Cardinals manager Mike Shildt was asked about the fact the team did not make any deals before the trade deadline earlier in the day.

“We like what we have,” Shildt said.

There certainly has been a lot to like the last two days. Following Adam Wainwright’s stellar performance on Sunday, Dakota Hudson went out against the Reds and turned in one of the best starts of his career.

Hudson allowed two runs on only four hits over seven innings and Paul DeJong hit his first career grand slam to lead the Cardinals to the win in the opener of an eight-game road trip.

“I don’t think anyone on our team looks at Adam and doesn’t say, ‘Hey this is what I want to do at the end of my career,’” Hudson said. “The fact that he dominates like that was special for him, but it’s also special for us to see. It did fire me up. He was getting after it.

“I actually took a little of what he was doing with his tempo and was able to put that into the game, and I think that’s kind of where I got things rolling early.”

The win left the Cardinals 11-0 when they score five or more runs.

Here is how the game broke down:

At the plate: The Cardinals scored a run in each of the first three innings before DeJong’s grand slam in the fourth, the first grand slam by a Cardinals shortstop since Aledmys Diaz hit one on Sept. 27, 2016 … Paul Goldschmidt reached base five times with a double, two singles, a walk and when he was hit by a pitch. He drove in one run and scored twice … Kolten Wong and Yadier Molina had the other RBIs as the Cardinals scored seven runs for the second consecutive game.

On the mound: Hudson allowed a run on two hits in the first inning, but then allowed just two more hits, the Reds only two baserunners, as he retired 18 of the last 20 hitters he faced. He recorded 12 ground ball outs and struck out seven in recording his first win since Sept. 16 of last year … The Cardinals carried a 7-2 lead into the ninth, when the Reds closed to within 7-5 on Eugenio Suarez’s three-run homer off Jake Woodford … Giovanny Gallegos relieved Woodford and struck out the final two hitters to earn only the second save for the Cardinals in 17 games since Aug. 17.

Key stat: This was Hudson’s 37th career start for the Cardinals and was the first time he pitched more than four innings without issuing a walk. The only previous start in his career when he did not walk at least one batter was a four-inning outing on Aug. 9, 2019.

Trade deadline: John Mozeliak, the team’s president of baseball operations, said it was a “tricky balance candidly” to consider possible moves before Monday’s deadline, knowing the team still has 46 players on its 40-man roster because of the COVID-19 outbreak. “It was just something difficult for us to feel like we were getting a deal that made sense for us moving forward,” Mozeliak said. “We never felt we were close to anything. We explored a lot of different ideas but we are in a very unique spot.” Mozeliak noted the team still has only played five games, all before the COVID-19 outbreak that sidelined 10 players, with the roster it had to begin the season. “The test for us is when we get back down to 40, what’s our depth going to look like then,” he said. “I’m concerned. It’s certainly going to be a test, probably when we get into early next week.”

Worth noting: Outfielder Lane Thomas, one of the players who tested positive for COVID-19, was activated before Monday night’s game. He entered the game as a defensive replacement for Dexter Fowler in the sixth and walked in his only plate appearance … To open a 40-man spot reliever Ricardo Sanchez was moved from the 10-day to the 45-day injured list. Infielder John Nogowski also was optioned to the Springfield camp, but he is on the taxi squad for this trip … Ryan Helsley likely will be activated on Tuesday, and that move also will require a corresponding move to open a 40-man spot … Catcher Matt Wieters, out with a broken toe, could be activated when the Cardinals get to Chicago on Friday.

Looking ahead: Kwang Hyun Kim will get the start on Tuesday night in the second 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 Rob Rains, Editor.