Tuesday’s Game Report: Cardinals 4, Indians 2
By Rob Rains
For at least one night, Adam Wainwright loved the designated hitter rule.
Wainwright has made his displeasure of the National League using the DH well known over the years but with the rule in place on Tuesday night for the Cardinals’ interleague game in Cleveland, it helped Wainwright pick up a victory.
With Wainwright and the Cardinals trailing 2-1 in the seventh inning, it was a two-out, two-strike single by the night’s DH, Matt Carpenter, and a two-run homer by the hitter batting ninth instead of Wainwright, Paul DeJong, also with two strikes, that lifted the Cardinals over the Indians.
Wainwright has just one hit, a single, in 33 at-bats this season.
Harrison Bader’s hot hitting also helped Wainwright earn his eighth win of the season as he homered and doubled twice – the first three extra-base hit game of his career.
Here is how Tuesday night’s game broke down:
At the plate: Bader remained the team’s hottest hitter in July, with his second consecutive three-hit game, the first time he has done that in his career. His home run leading off the third was his ninth of the season and fifth in July, giving the Cardinals a 1-0 lead. He doubled in the fifth and the ninth, then stealing third after an out call was overturned on review, and then scored the insurance run on a bases-loaded walk to Dylan Carlson as the Indians walked three consecutive batters … The three hits raised Bader’s average in July to .384 (28-of-77) and his 16 RBIs lead the team for the month … Carpenter’s single and DeJong’s homer, his 14th of the year, allowed the team to overcome a baserunning blunder by Tommy Edman, who was thrown out at third trying to stretch a leadoff double … DeJong’s homer was the first this season for a non-pitcher in the lineup as the ninth-place hitter for the Cardinals, and his first homer out of that spot in the order since 2017 … After missing the weekend series in Cincinnati, Yadier Molina was back in the lineup and was hitless in four at-bats.
On the mound: Making the first start of his career in Cleveland, Wainwright allowed just four hits, walked two and struck out eight over seven innings. Both of the Indians runs scored on a homer by Jose Ramirez in the fourth, following a leadoff single … Giovanny Gallegos allowed a single in the eighth before getting an inning-ending double play … Alex Reyes hit a batter with two outs in the ninth before a fly out ended the game and gave him his 24th save.
Key stat: In the 11 games since the All-Star break, Bader has gone 19-of-39, a .487 average.
Worth noting: Jack Flaherty, out since the end of May because of a torn oblique, made his first rehab start for Memphis on Tuesday night and worked three scoreless innings. He allowed one hit, did not walk a batter and struck out 3, throwing 31 pitches … Miles Mikolas is scheduled to make his second rehab start on Thursday night and the Cardinals projections are that both pitchers should be able to rejoin the starting rotation in mid-August. The team opens a three-game series against the division-leading Brewers on Aug. 17 … Outfielder Lane Thomas was recalled from Memphis after Johan Oviedo was optioned to the Triple A club. Because of days off, the Cardinals will not need a fifth starter again until Aug. 6.
Looking ahead: Kwang Hyun Kim will get the start in the second game of the series against the Indians, set for a 12:10 p.m. first pitch St. Louis time.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains