Friday’s Game Report: Cardinals 15, Brewers 4
By Rob Rains, STLSportsPage.com
The ageless duo of Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina both had a lot to smile about on Friday night.
Just being together again, on the mound and behind the plate, for the 300th time in their careers with the Cardinals made the game in Milwaukee one to remember. They are only the fourth pitcher-catcher combination to reach that number of games in major-league history.
And both made it count. Wainwright pitched into the seventh inning en route to his 14th victory and Molina capped a big offensive night for the Cardinals with his seventh career grand slam in the ninth inning.
Wainwright even helped his own cause with a bases loaded single, driving in, of course, Molina.
The NL Pitcher of the Month for August, Wainwright was starting his first game since celebrating his 40th birthday. He extended his string of consecutive scoreless innings to 24 before the Brewers scored in the seventh. He has allowed just three earned runs in his last 36 1/3 innings.
The Wainwright-Molina duo made their first start in the majors together on April 6, 2007. The record for most starts by a pitcher and catcher in 324, by Mickey Lolich and Bill Freehan of the Tigers.
With the win, the Cardinals picked up a game on both the Reds and Phillies in the race for the second wild-card spot.
Here is how Friday night’s game broke down:
At the plate: Molina’s grand slam was one of six homers hit by the Cardinals, the most they have ever hit in a game in Milwaukee. The previous high of five came on Sept. 20, 1998. It was their first six-homer game since 2016, at Seattle, and they scored a season high 15 runs, tying the most they have ever scored in a game in Milwaukee (2003) … Nolan Arenado got the big offensive day started with a two-run homer in the first and added a solo shot in the third, increasing his season total to 29. Harrison Bader hit a three-run blast later in the third, the last hit by the Cardinals until Tyler O’Neill’s two-run homer in the seventh … After Molina’s grand slam, Edmundo Sosa went back-to-back with a shot over the right-field wall … The Cardinals have now homered in nine consecutive games, their longest streak of the season.
On the mound: Only one of the two runs charged to Wainwright was earned, allowing him to lower his ERA for the season to 2.91. He gave up only two hits through his first six scoreless innings before running into trouble in the seventh. He struck out four and walked three and for the 19th time in his 27 starts this season allowed two earned runs or less … After Wainwright left with the bases loaded, two of the runs scored against T.J. McFarland … Kodi Whitley worked a 1-2-3 eighth before the Brewers scored their final two runs off Brandon Dickson in the ninth.
Key stat: A lot has been said about Wainwright’s pitching at the age of 40, but with his hit and RBI on Friday night, he became the first Cardinals player at any position to do that since Willie McGee in 1999. The last Cardinal pitcher to have a hit and a RBI at 40 or older was Rick Honeycutt in 1996 and the last Cardinals starting pitcher to do it was Jim Kaat in 1980.
Worth noting: The pairing of Wainwright and Molina actually began in 2004, when the two were together for eight games at Triple A Memphis before Molina was promoted to the major leagues … With Junior Fernandez going on the injured list because of a torn lat, Jake Woodford was recalled from Memphis … Dakota Hudson, who threw 43 pitches in 2 2/3 innings in a start for Springfield on Thursday night, is in line to pitch again on Tuesday as he continues to try to be ready to pitch in a major-league game before the end of the season.
Looking ahead: Kwang Hyun Kim will get the start on Saturday night in the second game of the series.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains