Friday’s Game Report: Cardinals 5, Reds 4
By Rob Rains
The new-look lineup took a little while to get going on Friday night – all the way until the third inning.
Making the first significant change in the batting order three weeks into the season, the Cardinals moved Dylan Carlson up to the second spot and dropped Paul Goldschmidt from second to third and Nolan Arenado from third to cleanup for the series opener against the Reds at Busch Stadium.
Following an infield single by Kwang Hyun Kim leading off the third, the Cardinals got a single from Carlson, a two-run double from Goldschmidt, a single by Arenado and a double from Yadier Molina, hitting fifth, to score four runs.
The Cardinals needed all of those runs to survive a shaky ninth inning and hold on for the victory.
“I think we’ll see it again,” manager Mike Shildt said of the lineup. “I liked it. I thought everybody looked comfortable in that spot and took good at-bats. It was a good debut for it.”
Molina had to leave the game in the fifth after injuring his foot while batting. Shildt said Molina was getting imaging exams after the game and will know more about Molina’s status on Saturday.
Here is how Friday night’s game broke down:
At the plate: Molina produced the first Cardinals run with his fifth homer of the season with one out in the second … Tommy Edman, Carlson and Goldschmidt drew walks to load the bases with two outs in the fourth but failed to score when Arenado fouled out … The Cardinals did not have a hit after Molina’s double in the third as the Reds retired the last 13 batters in order from the fourth through the eighth … Justin Williams struck out in all three of his at-bats.
On the mound: Kim allowed just one run, a homer by Nick Casteallanos, in 5 2/3 innings, did not walk a batter and struck out eight … It was a 5-1 game going to the ninth, but four walks, a misplayed ball in the outfield that fell between Carlson and Williams for a triple and a wild pitch led to three Reds runs. Jordan Hicks got the first out of the inning but left with runners on second and third, both of whom later scored after Alex Reyes entered the game. Reyes was able to get the save, stranding two runners, by striking out Castellanos and Eugenio Suarez, his fourth strikeout of the game.
Key stat: Kim said his hit leading off the third was his first hit since he was 14 years old in Korea. It was the fifth hit by a Cardinals pitcher in 32 at-bats this season.
Worth noting: Tyler O’Neill was activated from the injured list but was not in the starting lineup because he fouled a ball off his foot during a simulated game on Thursday. He entered the game in a double switch in the sixth inning and is expected to be in the lineup on Saturday … To make room on the roster for O’Neill, John Nogowski was placed on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to April 20. Shildt said he is still dealing with a bone bruise to his left hand, the result of being hit by a pitch on April 7 …The update on Miles Mikolas is that he likely will pitch in two more simulated games at the alternate site camp, then be ready to begin a rehab assignment when the minor-league seasons open on May 4 … After getting his first start hitting second, Carlson has now started in five spots in the batting order in the year’s first 19 games.
Looking ahead: The Cardinals and Reds will play the second game of the series on Saturday, with John Gant getting the starting assignment.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains