Wednesday’s Game Report: Cardinals 3, Tigers 2 (10 innings)

Wednesday’s Game Report: Cardinals 3, Tigers 2 (10 innings)

By Rob Rains, STLSportsPage.com

The Cardinals were on the verge of a very disappointing ending and a very disappointing homestand on Wednesday before Lars Nootbaar came to the rescue.

Nootbaar got the first walk-off hit of his young career, a 10th inning single, that gave the Cardinals the win over the Tigers at Busch Stadium.

The hit came after Alex Reyes blew a save in the ninth, when the Tigers scored to tie the game. It allowed the Cardinals to finish the homestand against Milwaukee, Pittsburgh and Detroit with a 3-5 record.

Paul Goldschmidt scored on Nootbaar’s two-out, bases-loaded single after earlier producing the first two Cardinals runs with home runs.

Here is how Wednesday’s game broke down:

At the plate: Goldschmidt homered in the first and in the third, his 20th and 21st homers of the season. It was the 18th multi-homer game of his career … The Cardinals’ only other hits through the ninth inning were a pair of singles by Tommy Edman … With Edman as the ghost runner on second to start the 10th, Goldschmidt was intentionally walked before they pulled off a double steal with one out. Nolan Arenado then was intentionally walked. Paul DeJong grounded into a force out at the plate, bringing up Nootbaar. He had entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the eighth, drawing a walk. His single to right came on a 2-1 pitch, their only hit in seven at-bats with a runner in scoring position … The Cardinals struck out 14 times in the game, 10 in the first five innings.

On the mound: Jon Lester worked the first five innings, allowing a run in his final inning. He scattered seven hits and walked two and was in line for the win before the Tigers rallied in the ninth … Luis Garcia, Genesis Cabrera and Giovanny Gallegos had protected the one-run lead until Reyes relieved. He gave up a one-out double to pinch-hitter Miguel Cabrera, who then scored on a single by pinch-hitter Harold Castro, handing Reyes his third blown save of the season … T.J. McFarland got a double play to end the 10th and earned the victory.

Key stat: Goldschmidt continued to have a very good August while Arenado continued to slump. Goldschmidt is now hitting .345 for the month with four homers and 18 RBIs while Arenado’s 0-of-4 day left him just 4-of-34 on the homestand and with a .200 average for the month, although he does lead the team with 20 RBIs.

Worth noting: The Cardinals placed Jack Flaherty on the injured list before the game, recalling Junior Fernandez from Memphis, but didn’t immediately reveal any more about the extent of Flaherty’s injury. He was forced to leave his start on Tuesday night in the third inning because of “tightness” in his right shoulder … Another injured Cardinals pitcher, Ryan Helsley, out with a bone bruise in his right elbow, also is going to undergo a procedure on his knee while on the injured list and there appears to be a possibility that he will not pitch again this season … The Cardinals are still hoping to get Dakota Hudson back at some point in September. He is recovering from Tommy John surgery and has been facing hitters in Florida and could soon began pitching in minor league games … The Cardinals have not made a decision about who will start on Sunday in place of Flaherty, but Kwang Hyun Kim appears to be the most likely choice.

Looking ahead: The Cardinals will begin a four-game series on Thursday night in Pittsburgh with Miles Mikolas getting the start. The Cardinals also will play three games in Cincinnati and three in Milwaukee before returning home on Labor Day.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains

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