Monday’s Game Report: Cardinals 1, Royals 0

Monday’s Game Report: Cardinals 1, Royals 0

 By Rob Rains

After watching Harrison Bader and Nolan Arenado hit home runs to help the Cardinals win a game on Sunday, manager Oli Marmol said it was fun to see – knowing it hasn’t happened all that often lately.

Marmol got to see another home run on Monday – which turned out to be the only run the Cardinals needed to defeat the Royals.

This time the Cardinals didn’t wait until the seventh inning, with Paul Goldschmidt hitting the homer in the first inning, and Steven Matz and three relievers protecting that lead for the rest of the game.

Here is how the game broke down:

At the plate: Goldschmidt’s homer was his second of the season … The Cardinals had only three other hits in the game, a single by Brendan Donovan in the third, a single by Goldschmidt in the fourth and a double by Dylan Carlson in the eighth, which snapped an 0-of-18 streak … Andrew Knizner almost had another home run for the Cardinals, but Michael Taylor made a leaping catch over the center field wall to rob him of the would-be homer in the fifth inning.

On the mound: Matz worked the first six innings, scattering four hits. He did not walk a batter but did hit one while striking out four. Two of the hits were doubles, but each time the runner was stranded at second base … Kodi Whitley and Nick Wittgren each worked perfect 1-2-3 innings in relief before Giovanny Gallegos pitched around a two-out single in the ninth to earn the save.

Key stat: This was the fourth time in the history of Busch Stadium 3, since 2006, that the Cardinals won a game 1-0 with the only run scoring on a home run, the last time coming in 2019. It was the first time the home run was hit in the first inning.

Worth noting: To reach the mandated 26-man roster limit, pitcher Packy Naughton was optioned to Memphis and pitcher Aaron Brooks was designated for assignment. Brooks will have to clear waivers before he can be sent to Memphis … Drew VerHagen is scheduled to make a rehab start for Memphis on Tuesday night, and depending on the results, could either make one more rehab start or rejoin the active roster … As expected, Tommy Edman was out of the lineup on Monday for the first time this season. He left Sunday’s game complaining of a tight hip flexor, but the injury is not considered serious and he could return to the lineup as soon as Tuesday night … Nolan Arenado was named the NL Player of the Month for April, the first time he has won the award since 2017 when he played for the Rockies.

Looking ahead: The two teams cross the state to play a two-game series beginning Tuesday night in Kansas City. Dakota Hudson is the scheduled starter.

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.