Wednesday’s Game Report: Reds 4, Cardinals 3
By Rob Rains
With Dexter Fowler going on the injured list, the young outfielders on the Cardinals likely will be asked to play a more prominent role in the team’s offense in the coming weeks.
Two of them had a chance to come up with a key ninth-inning hit on Wednesday night but unfortunately neither came through when the Cardinals needed it.
With the score tied, and the bases with one out, both Tyler O’Neill and Lane Thomas struck out against Raisel Iglesias to strand the runners.
A pair of walks from Giovanny Gallegos in the bottom of the ninth brought Joey Votto to the plate with a chance to win the game, and he did just that, delivering a walk-off single that gave the Reds the win and kept the Cardinals from sweeping the series.
“Tyler missed his (Iglesias) mistake,” said manager Mike Shildt. “He got one over the middle and fouled it off. You’ve got to put that ball in play. … The guy made some tough pitches to Lane and he wasn’t able to put the ball in play.
“Give guys opportunities, that’s what you find out. Tyler missed his pitch. Young player puts a ball in play, puts a ball in the outfield, you don’t know what that does for his confidence. So it’s a fine line, I get it. Those guys are going to have to learn to face those guys if they are going to be everyday players.
“We just didn’t get the big hit or put the ball in play when we needed to.”
Here is how the game broke down:
At the plate: O’Neill was 1-of-4, with a double and a run scored, and Thomas was 0-of-4 in the game. Tommy Edman got the start in right field and was 1-of-4 … Brad Miller hit his fifth homer of the year and Yadier Molina his second, both solo shots, and Kolten Wong’s RBI double produced the other run for the Cardinals … The two homers and two doubles were their only hits until Edman’s two-out single in the eighth … They loaded the bases in the ninth on a single by Miller, a walk to Paul DeJong and an intentional walk to Matt Carpenter following a sacrifice bunt from Molina.
On the mound: After getting a strikeout to begin the bottom of the ninth, Gallegos issued back-to-back walks, the first two batters he has walked in 8 1/3 innings this season … Starter Johan Oviedo allowed three hits over 4 2/3 innings, one of which was a two-run homer by Tucker Barnhart following a hit batter. Oviedo struck out five … Genesis Cabrera, John Gant and Austin Gomber kept the game tied until the ninth inning.
Key stat: The four young outfielders – Harrison Bader, O’Neill, Thomas and Dylan Carlson – have a combined .176 average so far this season, with 35 hits in 199 at-bats. They have a combined six homers and 16 RBIs.
Worth noting: Fowler likely will be out for at least two weeks because of a stomach ailment, the team announced before Wednesday night’s game. John Mozeliak, president of baseball operations, said the move was “precautionary” because of a new medication Fowler has begun taking which could affect his immune system. Fowler has been playing while trying different treatments without success. “It’s not anything that caught us by surprise,” said Shildt. “It (the situation) deteriorated over the last month. Dex’s heart has been on display for his teammates and our team because he really has done everything possible he could do to remain and compete with us. He’s been able to do this longer than I thought he might be able to.” Fowler has returned to St. Louis, Mozeliak said. Fowler was tied for the team lead with four homers and second on the team with 14 RBIs … The Cardinals activated Rangel Ravelo from the injured list, and also brought Rob Kaminsky back from the taxi squad and placed Ryan Meisinger on the taxi squad.
Looking ahead: The Cardinals will get a day off on Thursday after playing 23 games over 19 days since they resumed their season on July 14. On Friday they will begin a five-game series against the Cubs in Chicago, with Jack Flaherty getting the start in the opener.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains