Wednesday’s Game Report: Cardinals 7, Diamondbacks 4
By Rob Rains
The Cardinals found a good way to end a bad month on Wednesday by completing a sweep of the three-game series against the Diamondbacks at Busch Stadium.
The three wins, against a team that won only three games during June, allowed the Cardinals to finish the month with a 10-17 record. It’s their fewest wins in June since the 2006 team went 9-16 before going on to win the World Series.
Kwang Hyun Kim worked five innings, allowing one run, and also delivered a two-run double as he gave the Cardinals consecutive wins from their starting pitchers for the first time since May 18-19.
Tyler O’Neill had three hits, including two doubles, and scored three runs while Paul Goldschmidt also doubled twice on a three-hit day to lead the offense.
“There were a lot of positive things that we have talked about and have done the last six games offensively that continued to come into play again today,” said manager Mike Shildt.
The Cardinals got nearly half of their wins in the month – four – in their last five games.
“We just want to get better as we go,” Shildt said. “We look to build on it.”
Here is how Wednesday’s game broke down:
At the plate: The Cardinals scored in four consecutive innings, getting their first runs on the two-run double from Kim in the second. Goldschmidt doubled leading off the third and scored on a single by O’Neill, followed by an RBI single by Yadier Molina; Goldschmidt singled in a run in the fourth and O’Neill doubled and scored on a single by Tommy Edman in the fifth … Edman also got another RBI with a ground out in the seventh … The five doubles by the Cardinals were their most in a game this season.
On the mound: Kim had been 0-5 in his previous 10 starts as he picked up his first win since April 23 and just his second of the season. He allowed three hits and walked three while striking out five … John Gant worked two scoreless innings before the Diamondbacks scored three runs on just one hit in the eighth. Ryan Helsley inherited a bases-loaded, no-out jam from Roel Ramirez and allowed all three runners to score on a walk, a wild pitch and a groundout. The walk was the 20th by the Cardinals with the bases loaded this season. Helsley came into the game having allowed only one of 16 inherited runners to score this season … Alex Reyes, after getting a six-out save on 32 pitches Tuesday night, improved to 20-of-20 in save opportunities, pitching around an infield single and a throwing error in a scoreless ninth.
Key stat: In their 27 games in June, the Cardinals posted a team batting average of .217, which ranked next to last in the majors, ahead on only the Cubs. Their 19 home runs also were the second fewest in the majors, ahead of only Arizona, and they scored a major-league low 86 runs, getting outscored 128-86 during the month.
Worth noting: Harrison Bader was back in the dugout during the game after playing Tuesday night in Memphis, and will be going with the Cardinals to Colorado and could be activated as early as before Thursday night’s game … The corresponding roster move likely will be announced on Thursday … Two of the Cardinals’ top prospects, Nolan Gorman and Matthew Liberatore, were named Wednesday to represent the organization in the Futures Game, part of the All-Star weekend in Denver, on July 11. Liberatore also is still a candidate to make the team that will represent the U.S. in the Olympics in Tokyo. That roster will be announced on Friday.
Looking ahead: The Cardinals start a 10-game trip on Thursday night that will take them to the All-Star break. Following the four games in Colorado they will play three in San Francisco and three in Chicago. Adam Wainwright will get the start on Thursday night.
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