Thursday’s Game Report: Cardinals 8, Diamondbacks 3
By Rob Rains
The Cardinals have proven at least one thing over the last two games at Busch Stadium: If you get enough hits, you can win a game without hitting a home run.
The team’s streak without hitting a home run reached eight games on Thursday night, but at the same team, they started a new streak.
For the second game in a row, the Cardinals pounded out 15 hits – this time all singles – in winning the opener of a four-game series against the Diamondbacks.
It’s the first time they have posted consecutive games with 15 hits at home since 2010, and their 15 singles without an extra-base hit was just one shy of the franchise record, last done in 1970 (in a 10-inning game).
Paul Goldschmidt – who has yet to a home run this season – led the attack with three hits, driving in three runs.
The last time the Cardinals had 15 hits, all singles, and scored eight or more runs was on June 27, 2004, when they scored 10 runs against the Royals.
Here is how the game broke down:
At the plate: The Cardinals bunched five hits, a walk and a hit batter with three sacrifice flies to take a quick 5-0 lead after the second inning. Two of the sacrifice flies came from Tyler O’Neill … A three-run eighth inning, featuring a two-run single by Goldschmidt, blew the game open … Tommy Edman had two hits and drove in two runs, while Harrison Bader and Yadier Molina each added two hits … One of the hits from Brendan Donovan, the first of his major-league career, in the eighth inning.
On the mound: Dakota Hudson held the Diamondbacks without a hit for the first 5 1/3 innings until Daulton Varsho hit a clean single to right. Hudson came out of the game after the sixth. He has not allowed a run in 12 2/3 innings over his last two starts, giving up a total of three hits … A two-run homer by Pavin Smith off Aaron Brooks in the eighth snapped the shutout bid.
Key stat: The stretch without a home run is now at 276 at-bats, the Cardinals’ longest streak since 2014. They are 4-4 in those eight games.
Worth noting: Nolan Arenado was suspended for two games and Genesis Cabrera for one by Major League Baseball for their roles in Wednesday’s benches-clearing incident against the Mets. Arenado appealed his suspension, while Cabrera served his suspension on Wednesday night … The Cardinals got two more stolen bases and have now been successful on their last 17 steal attempts. The second steal came from 39-year-old Molina, making him the oldest Cardinal with a stolen base since 40-year-old Willie McGee had six steals in 1999 … Jack Flaherty is continuing to rehab his injured shoulder, and the current plan is for him to begin pitching off the mound after the Cardinals return home from their next road trip.
Looking ahead: Adam Wainwright will get the start on Friday night in the second game of the series.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains