Tuesday’s Game Report: Cardinals 16, Reds 2
By Rob Rains
David Bell probably went to sleep on Tuesday night and as soon as he closed his eyes, pictured the Cardinals batting with the bases loaded.
It was that kind of night for the Reds manager, and for the Cardinals.
Three of those bases-loaded at-bats came in the first 10 batters in the game in the first inning against starter Sonny Gray, one of the best pitchers in the league. Each produced a two-run hit that staked the Cardinals to a quick 6-0 lead.
After sending 11 hitters to the plate in the inning, the Cardinals didn’t stop there, getting a fourth bases-loaded at-bat, and another two-run hit, in the sixth. The Cardinals lost a chance for a fifth bases-loaded at-bat in the seventh when a run scored on a wild pitch before the at-bat could be completed.
The first of those bases-loaded hits came from Brad Miller, a double in the first, and he was just warming up. Miller added a pair of two-run homers and an RBI single to become the first Cardinal to drive in seven runs in a game since Carlos Beltran on May 2, 2012.
The Cardinals pounded out 23 hits, their most in a game since a 26-hit game against the Braves in 2008, and their most in a game against the Reds since 1978. It was only the second time they had 23 or more hits in a game since 1991. The 16 runs were their most in a game at Cincinnati since 1970.
Kolten Wong joined Miller with a four-hit night, and also reached base when he was hit by a pitch, and scored four runs. Eleven Cardinals had at least one hit in the game.
This was the third consecutive game in which the Cardinals scored seven or more runs, something the 2019 Cardinals did not do in the 162-game season.
Here is how the game broke down:
At the plate: Tommy Edman and Yadier Molina each had three hits … The other bases-loaded hits were a two-run single by Dexter Fowler in the first, a two-run single by Wong in his second at-bat in the first inning and a two-run single by Andrew Knizner coming off the bench as a pinch-hitter in the sixth … The six runs in the first inning marked the first time the Cardinals had scored six or more runs and knocked out an opposing starter in the opening inning on the road since Aug. 26, 2018 at Colorado … Miller followed his two-run double in the first with a two-run homer in the second, an RBI single in the fjftb and another two-run homer, off the right field foul pole, in the eighth … The Cardinals scored in seven of the first eight innings and in the only one of those innings when they didn’t score, the fourth, they left two runners on base.
On the mound: Kwang Hyun Kim worked five scoreless innings before coming out of the game after 85 pitches. He allowed three hits, walked two and struck out four as he lowered his ERA for the season to 0.83. In his four starts since moving into the rotation, Kim’s ERA is 0.44, having allowed one earned run in 20 2/3 innings … In their last four games, Cardinals starters have allowed a total of five runs, four earned, in 26 innings … Ryan Helsley returned after suffering from COVID-19 and allowed a home run to the first hitter he faced, Joey Votto … The Reds other run scored in the ninth off Seth Elledge.
Key stat: The success with the bases loaded continued a trend for the season. The Cardinals are now a collective 17-of-32 with the bases loaded this season, a .531 average.
Worth noting: To make room for Helsley on the roster, Rob Kaminsky was optioned to the Springfield camp roster and Jesus Cruz was designated for assignment to open a spot on the 40-man roster. Kaminsky will stay with the team on the road trip as part of the taxi squad … Tuesday night’s game began a stretch that will see the Cardinals play 21 games in the first 18 days of September, including six doubleheaders. The 21 games actually will be played in just 16 days because the team has two days off during that stretch, on Thursday and Sept. 9.
Looking ahead: Rookie Johan Oviedo will get the start on Wednesday night as the Cardinals try to sweep the series. He is taking the spot of Daniel Ponce de Leon in the rotation. Both of Oviedo’s previous starts came in a doubleheader.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains