Saturday’s Game Report: Cardinals 3, Giants 1

Saturday’s Game Report: Cardinals 3, Giants 1

By Rob Rains

It took a while for him to get going, but Kwang Hyun Kim is finally back to pitching the way he did for the Cardinals a year ago.

Kim worked six scoreless innings Saturday night – his third consecutive start without allowing a run – and the Cardinals got home runs from Tyler O’Neill and Paul Goldschmidt to beat the Giants at Busch Stadium.

For the first time in his two years with the Cardinals, Kim was pitching in front of his family, able to make their first trip from South Korea to St. Louis since the start of the pandemic. His wife, two children, mother and mother-in-law arrived in St. Louis last week, according to the Cardinals.

Kim has now thrown 19 scoreless innings in his last three starts and has a total scoreless streak of 21 consecutive innings.

After beginning the year on the injured list with back problems he suffered in spring training, Kim also had to go back on the IL in early June when he was in the middle of a five-game losing streak and a string of 10 consecutive starts without a victory.

Kim has now won his last four starts, giving up just one run in 24 innings.

Here is how Saturday night’s game broke down:

At the plate: O’Neill led off the second inning with his 16th homer of the year but his first since June 9, breaking a streak of 97 plate appearances and 83 at-bats without a homer that spanned 26 games. It was his first homer since moving into the cleanup spot in the batting order … Goldschmidt added his second homer in as many games, and his 15th of the year in the sixth, a two-run shot, following a leadoff double by Dylan Carlson. The homer was one of three hits for Goldschmidt as he extended his hitting streak to 12 consecutive games during which he has posted a .417 average (20-of-48) … After getting three hits on Friday night, Paul DeJong was 2-of-3 as he raised his average to .203, the first time he has been at or above .200 since April 21.

On the mound: Kim allowed just three hits, all singles, while walking two and recording only one strikeout. During his three consecutive scoreless starts Kim has allowed just 11 hits in 19 innings … Ryan Helsley gave up the only Giants run in the seventh before Genesis Cabrera was able to get out of the inning, stranding two inherited runners … Giovanny Gallegos worked a 1-2-3 eighth inning and Alex Reyes earned the save, pitching around a leadoff single and walk that put the potential tying run on base with nobody out.

Key stat: The save was the 23rd of Reyes’ career and tied him with LaTroy Hawkins for the major league record for most consecutive saves to start a career. He is now 21-of-21 this season.

Worth noting: Goldschmidt’s hitting streak tied Tommy Edman for the longest streak by a Cardinal this season. He had a 13-game streak in 2019 … He also has driven in at least one run in the last six games … Kim has not allowed an extra-base hit to the last 94 batters he has faced … The game drew a crowd of 40,489, the largest for a game at Busch Stadium this season.

Looking ahead: Wade LeBlanc will get the start on Sunday in the final game of the series.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains

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For the latest news and features in St. Louis Sports check out Rob Rains, Editor.