Saturday’s Game Report: Cardinals 5, Pirates 4
By Rob Rains
For the first six innings on Saturday night the Cardinals offense consisted of two walks and a hit batter as they trailed the Pirates 4-0 going to the seventh.
But as they did on Friday night, the Cardinals took advantage of mistakes by the Pirates to put together a big inning. After scoring six runs in the sixth on Friday night, this time they put together a five-run inning that was enough for their third consecutive victory.
The rally began after the Pirates changed pitchers, beginning with two walks and a hit batter to load the bases. The Cardinals first hit, a double by Tyler O’Neill, cut the lead to 4-2. Dylan Carlson’s sacrifice fly made it 4-3 and RBI singles by Kolten Wong and Tommy Edman capped the big inning.
It was the largest comeback win for the Cardinals this season.
“Down 4-0 and getting no hit after six, that’s not the most ideal of conditions,” said manager Mike Shildt. “But this group thrives and deals with adverse conditions and not ideal conditions and just keeps going.”
The inning might have been costly, however. Yadier Molina was hit by a pitch on the left wrist, basically in the same spot where he was hit by a swinging bat earlier this week. He stayed in the game for the rest of the inning, but Matt Wieters pinch-hit when his next turn at bat came up in the eighth.
Shildt said Molina underwent X-rays and they were negative but he will be evaluated further on Sunday.
“It’s obviously a concern,” Shildt said.
Here is how the game broke down:
At the plate: The three hits in the seventh were the Cardinals only hits in the game, They had a chance to make it an even bigger inning as they had the bases loaded with one out after scoring the five runs but Brad Miller struck out and Paul DeJong flied out to end the inning … Mitch Killer had no-hit the Cardinals through six innings but had to come out of the game at that point because he was coming off an oblique injury and was on a limited pitch count … The Cardinals improved to 22-3 when scoring four or more runs this season.
On the mound: Kwang Hyun Kim had the roughest start of the year, giving up solo home runs in the first and third innings. He allowed just one other hit, a single, through the first five innings before the Pirates added two runs and knocked him out of the game in the sixth. Kim had allowed only one earned run in his previous 24 innings covering four starts … Jake Woodford got the final two outs in the sixth and was credited with his first career victory … Genesis Cabrera got the final five outs to earn the save, the sixth Cardinals pitcher to record a save this season.
Key stat: The home run off Kim in the first inning was the 12th allowed by the Cardinals in the first inning this season, their most allowed in any inning. Since Sept. 11, six of the 15 home runs allowed by the Cardinals have been hit in the first inning.
Worth noting: It appears likely that both Giovanny Gallegos and Dexter Fowler will be able to come off the injured list and rejoin the Cardinals when they are in Kansas City next week. Gallegos threw an extended bullpen on Saturday in St. Louis and unless there is a setback should be recovered from his groin injury. Fowler also has ramped up his baseball activities as he recovers from a stomach ailment … Rob Kaminsky, designated for assignment earlier in the week, cleared waivers and was returned to the Springfield camp roster.
Looking ahead: Jack Flaherty will get the start today in the final game of the series.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains