Saturday’s Game Report: Cardinals 9, Royals 4
By Rob Rains
The Cardinals have spent most of this season wondering what would happen if Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado both got hot at the plate at the same time.
They might be about to find out.
The two combined to drive in seven of the Cardinals’ nine runs on Saturday night as the Cardinals won their fifth game in a row, beating the Royals in Kansas City.
Goldschmidt had a two-run single in the seventh, followed by Arenado’s two run homer, before Goldschmidt delivered a sacrifice fly in the ninth in front of a two-run ground-rule double from Arenado.
During the team’s five-game winning streak, Goldschmidt has gone 6-of-18 with four RBIs while Arenado is 5-of-18 with two homers and seven RBIs.
The duo’s performance helped the Cardinals extend their streak of scoring four or more runs to 10 consecutive games.
Here is how Saturday night’s game broke down:
At the plate: It wasn’t just the Goldschmidt and Arenado show at Kauffman Stadium. Edmundo Sosa found out he was going to start about 30 minutes before game time and then went out and had the first four-hit game of his career, getting four singles and scoring twice … Arenado’s homer was his 24th of the season and second in as many games … Tommy Edman drove in the Cardinals’ first two runs with a bases-loaded single in the fifth and also scored twice … The Cardinals had a slim 2-1 lead before the four-run seventh and the three-run ninth … Tyler O’Neill was 0-of-4 and struck out three times and Matt Carpenter was hitless in five at-bats.
On the mound: Jon Lester picked up his first win as a Cardinal, allowing one run on seven hits, all singles, over 5 2/3 innings. Thirteen of his 17 outs came on ground balls … He left with two runners on base in the sixth, with the Cardinals ahead 2-1, but Ryan Helsley ended the inning on one pitch, a fly out to left … Helsley worked a scoreless seventh and Luis Garcia retired the Royals in order in the eighth but Andrew Miller gave up three runs, retiring only one of the five hitters he faced, in the ninth before Genesis Cabrera came on to get the final two outs.
Key stat: This was the third game this season when both Goldschmidt and Arenado each had three or more RBIs in the same game. The other two games were on June 20 in the first-game of a doubleheader in Atlanta, and April 13 at home against the Nationals.
Worth noting: Sosa was inserted into the lineup after Paul DeJong was scratched because of lower back tightness … This is the second longest winning streak of the season for the Cardinals, who won six games in a row from April 29 to May 5 … It’s the first time they have been four games above .500 since June 4 … Miles Mikolas made what likely will be his last rehab start in the minors on Saturday night, throwing seven innings (86 pitches) at Peoria. He allowed three runs on six hits, did not walk a batter and struck out eight. Mikolas or Lester both would be in line to start Thursday night’s game against Milwaukee at Busch Stadium, following Adam Wainwright and Jack Flaherty, who will start the first two games of the series … Austin Dean was activated from the injured list at Memphis. Scott Hurst was designated for assignment.
Looking ahead: J.A. Happ will get the start on Sunday as the Cardinals try to complete a 6-0 road trip with a sweep over the Royals.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains