Sunday’s Game Report: Cardinals 7, Twins 3

Sunday’s Game Report: Cardinals 7, Twins 3

By Rob Rains

As the calendar flipped to August on Sunday, the Cardinals found themselves in a place where they haven’t been on that day for 22 years.

The Cardinals woke up on Sunday with a .500 record, 52-52, and were  9 ½ games behind the division-leading Brewers.

Not since Aug. 1, 1999 have the Cardinals been farther out of first place heading into the final two months of the season. On that date they were 11 ½ games out of first.

The biggest reason, of course, has been the inconsistent starting pitching – but at least to start the new month, the Cardinals had their oldest and most-consistent starter on the mound, Adam Wainwright, and he delivered a win over the Twins at Busch Stadium

Wainwright got all the offensive support he needed from Edmundo Sosa, who reached base in each of his four plate appearances with three hits and a walk, including a home run, as he drove in two runs and scored twice.

The win allowed the Cardinals to move back above .500 at 53-52. Their next goal is to get back to two games above the break-even point, a place they haven’t been since June 16.

Here is how Sunday’s game broke down:

At the plate: Dylan Carlson doubled in a run and scored on a single by Paul Goldschmidt as the Cardinals tied the game in the third … Tommy Edman got the first of his two doubles with two outs in the fourth and scored on an error to  give the Cardinals the lead. They tacked on runs in the fifth, off former teammate John Gant, who allowed two singles before throwing a wild pitch; and in the sixth, when Edman doubled and scored on a single by Sosa, his second hit of the day, as he got the start at shortstop in place of Paul DeJong … Sosa’s third hit of the day was his third homer of the year, leading off the eighth, which was followed by Carlson’s second double and a sacrifice fly from Goldschmidt.

On the mound: Wainwright allowed six hits over seven innings. Three of the hits came in the same inning, the second, when the Twins scored two of their runs. He also allowed a home run to Jorge Polanco with one out in the sixth . The win was Wainwright’s first of his career over the Twins. He had started only one previous game against Minnesota, 12 years ago, on June 26, 2009, taking the loss in a 3-1 game … Giovanny Gallegos worked a 1-2-3 eighth inning and Alex Reyes pitched the ninth even though it was not a save situation.

Key stat: Since they were last two games over .500 on June 16, the Cardinals have gone 0-5 in games when they had a chance to get back to that mark.

Worth noting: Jack Flaherty made his second rehab start for Memphis on Sunday and worked three innings, throwing 58 pitches. He allowed two runs on four hits and a walk while striking out five. He is expected to make at least one more start in the minors … In other news about injured pitchers, manager Mike Shildt said Dakota Hudson, recovering from last fall’s Tommy John surgery, has begun facing hitters during his rehab in Florida and there is a chance he could rejoin the team in a relief role before the end of the season … Jordan Hicks, however, is not that far along in his rehab and it’s increasingly unlikely he will pitch again, at least at the major-league level, this season … To make room for Jon Lester, who joined the Cardinals on Sunday, Jake Woodford was optioned to Memphis.

Looking ahead: After Monday’s day off, the Cardinals will roll out their two new starters to pitch the first two games of the series against the Braves that begins Tuesday night at Busch. Lester will start on Tuesday night and J.A. Happ on Wednesday night.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains

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