Friday’s Game Report: Cardinals 5, Twins 1
By Rob Rains
When he was talking about the Cardinals two deadline trades on Friday, John Mozeliak offered an idea of what he thought the team needed to do to have more success the last two months of the season.
The team’s president of baseball operations said the formula consisted of getting good starting pitching, solid work from the bullpen and timely hits.
A couple of hours later, the Cardinals got all three in a win over the Twins at Busch Stadium in the opener of a three-game series.
Wafe LeBlanc worked into the sixth inning, allowing only one run; the bullpen added 3 1/3 scoreless innings and Tommy Edman had the timely hit, a bases-loaded double in the sixth that snapped a 1-1 tie and put the Cardinals up 4-1.
The win moved the Cardinals to one game over .500 – again. They have not reached two games above that mark since June 16.
Here is how Friday night’s game broke down:
At the plate: The Cardinals had just two hits through the first five innings, scoring their only run when Tyler O’Neill singled to lead off the fourth, stole second, went to third on a fly ball and scored on Harrison Bader’s sacrifice fly … In the sixth, a single by Paul Goldschmidt, a walk, and an infield hit by Bader loaded the bases with two outs for Edman, who lined a double into the right-field corner on a two-strike pitch … The final run scored in the seventh when Goldschmidt doubled and Nolan Arenado followed with an RBI single.
On the mound: LeBlanc allowed six hits over 5 2/3 innings. The only Minnesota run scored in the second when a one-out walk came around to score on a single by Andrelton Simmons …The Twins put the leadoff runner on base in six innings but never could get that runner home … LeBlanc left with a runner on in the sixth. Ryan Helsley gave up a hit to the first hitter he faced, Simmons, before a strikeout ended the inning and stranded both runners. Helsley also pitched the seventh and was credited with the win … Giovanny Gallegos took over in the eighth and Alex Reyes retired the Twins in order in the ninth even though it was not a save situation.
Key stat: Friday night’s game began a stretch in which 24 of the Cardinals next 27 games will be against teams that had a below .500 record as of Friday. The Cardinals are now 31-23 against teams with a losing record.
Worth noting: After trading Lane Thomas to Washington, the Cardinals recalled Lars Nootbaar from Memphis … Daniel Ponce de Leon is scheduled to throw a bullpen on Saturday as the team decides on when to activate him off the injured list … Jon Lester is scheduled to join the Cardinals on Sunday, so more roster moves will have to be made then … The Cardinals will honor incoming Hall of Famer Ted Simmons before the game on Saturday night. A new statue will be unveiled outside of Busch Stadium, and jersey number 23, which Simmons wore during his playing career, will be retired during a pre-game ceremony. Simmons will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown on Sept. 8.
Looking ahead: Jake Woodford will get the start on Saturday night in the second game of the series.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains