Friday’s Game Report: Cardinals 8, Diamondbacks 6

Friday’s Game Report: Cardinals 8, Diamondbacks 6

By Rob Rains

The Diamondbacks might have lost their last 12 games, but they certainly have put up quite a battle the last two nights against the Cardinals.

After coming back from a 4-0 deficit only to lose in the 10th inning on Thursday night, the Diamondbacks loaded the bases in both the eighth and ninth innings on Friday night, scoring three runs, before Daniel Ponce de Leon was finally able to close out the game in Phoenix.

It was Ponce de Leon’s second save in as many nights after having only one previous save in his career.

He came in to get the final out in the eighth, stranding two runners, and then got himself into a bases loaded jam in the ninth on two hits and a hit batter. A ground out drove in a run, but it also was the second out, and Ponce de Leon stranded the remaining two runners on second and third by getting a game-ending grounder to short.

“Just gritty in the ninth,” manager Mike Shildt said of Ponce de Leon. “He had a really live fastball, the ball was really jumping. Very determined. He was tremendous again tonight.”

It was the first win for the Cardinals in nine career starts for Johan Oviedo, although he was pulled from the game after 4 1/3 innings, two outs shy of qualifying for his first career win.

“He just wasn’t in control of the counts,” Shildt said. “Around the zone, just not in it enough … Once we got to a certain spot it was time to get a different look.”

Here is how Friday night’s game broke down:

At the plate: The Cardinals got at least one RBI out of each of the first six hitters in their lineup. They jumped to a 4-0 lead in the first inning off Madison Bumgarner, which included another two-rum homer from Tyler O’Neill, his second in as many games. It was his 10th of the season, tying him for the team lead – until Nolan Arenado hit his 11th of the year in the third inning … Two runs in the fourth increased the lead to 7-3 and the Cardinals added what turned out to be an important run on Arenado’s sacrifice fly in the ninth … The eight runs came on just six hits – the two homers, three doubles and one single.

On the mound: Oviedo’s biggest problem was that he walked the leadoff hitter in each of the first three innings and each time they came around to score. He issued six total walks and came out of the game with runners on second and third and the Cardinals holding a 7-3 lead … Jake Woodford got out of the inning with back-to-back strikeouts and went on to pitch two more scoreless innings, finishing his outing with six strikeouts, allowing only one hit … Ryan Helsley allowed the two runs in the eighth before Ponce de Leon was able to get the final out of the inning, striking out David Peralta, and then get the save in the ninth … The Diamondbacks had 19 at-bats with a runner in scoring position, getting seven hits.

Key stat: The seven runs were the most the Cardinals have ever scored in 13 games against Bumgarner in his career. Their previous high was six in five innings on Sept. 4, 2019 when he was still with the Giants.

Worth noting: The second opinion on Miles Mikolas’s right arm from Dr. James Andrews determined there was no tendon or ligament damage to his arm, the Cardinals said Friday. A small calcification was found within the flexor tendon and Mikolas will have a stem cell injection in that area. The team said he would be re-evaluated in four to six weeks but Shildt said barring a setback “we expect him to pitch again this year.” … Andrew Miller will make at least one more rehab appearance for Memphis on Saturday before possibly returning to the major-league team … To make room for Oviedo on the roster, Junior Fernandez was optioned to Memphis … A second Memphis player, infielder Jose Rondon, has left the team to join the team from Venezuela trying to qualify for the Olympics. Matthew Liberatore is training with the U.S. team.

Looking ahead: Adam Wainwright will get the start on Saturday night in the third game of the four-game series against the Diamondbacks.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains

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