Tuesday’s Game Report: Cardinals 3, Dodgers 2
By Rob Rains
Not getting a bunt down turned out to be the best thing that could have happened to Edmundo Sosa and the Cardinals on Tuesday night.
With the game tied 2-2 in the ninth and Tyler O’Neill on second, Sosa tried to bunt to move the runner to third but hit the ball foul. On the next pitch, he hit a two-strike single to left that drove in O’Neill to give the Cardinals the lead.
They were able to hold onto the lead in the bottom of the inning thanks to a game-saving, leaping catch by O’Neill in the left field corner to end the game in Los Angeles.
“I was just in go get it mode,” O’Neill said. “All or nothing. That’s what we train for, why we take reads every day. That’s what we live for, making those catches late in games. We were able to get it done.
“I knew it was either going to be at the track, off the wall or over the wall so that’s where I was going right off the bat, and the timing worked out. It all just kind of lined up.”
Here is how Tuesday night’s game broke down:
At the plate: O’Neill led off the ninth with a single and then stole second to set up Sosa’s RBI chance … That was the first hit for the Cardinals that made it out of the infield since Dylan Carlson’s RBI single in the second put the Cardinals ahead 2-0 … Paul Goldschmidt’s ground-rule double in the first produced the first run, following a double by Tommy Edman and a single by Carlson. The chance for a bigger inning evaporated when Nolan Arenado flied out and Yadier Molina and O’Neill struck out … Their only baserunners between the second and the ninth were an infield hit by O’Neill in the sixth and Matt Carpenter reaching on an error in the seventh.
On the mound: John Gant kept the Dodgers scoreless through the sixth inning, allowing four hits and issuing three walks. The defense helped him out with two double plays, a leaping catch by Edman in the sixth and a sliding catch by Carlson that ended the inning and stranded two runners on base … Giovanny Gallegos relieved Gant in the seventh and walked Albert Pujols with one out before giving up a game-tying homer, the first home run he had allowed since April 12 … In the ninth, Alex Reyes retired the first two batters before a walk and a single put runners on first and second. Mookie Betts hit the fly into the left field corner that was caught by O’Neill to end the game.
Worth noting: Jack Flaherty was diagnosed with an oblique injury on Tuesday, which he suffered in his start on Monday night, and was placed on the injured list. Shildt said, “It’s going to be a while for it to heal; I wish I had a crystal ball (for how long he will be out). It’s not a minimal situation. We’re still in the exploratory stage to figure out how long.” Flaherty said he first felt the tightness on his left side while he was pitching, and then felt it again taking a swing during his last at-bat.” Johan Oviedo was added to the active roster, but whether he will be a starter or reliever is to be determined, Shildt said. The team will need a starter for Saturday’s game … Jose Rondon became the fifth starter in right field Tuesday night in the team’s 55th game. Rondon has started one game in the outfield in the majors, in left field, and had 15 career professional starts in the outfield. He also started eight games in the outfield last winter in Venezuela, but had made only one previous professional start in right field, in Triple A in 2019 … Andrew Miller was scheduled to make one more rehab appearance for Triple A Memphis on Tuesday night before returning to the major-league team on Thursday but the Redbirds’ game was rained out.
Looking ahead: Carlos Martinez will get the start on Wednesday night in the final game of the series and of the 10-game road trip.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains