Tuesday’s Game Report: Cardinals split doubleheader against Mets

Tuesday’s Game Report: Cardinals split doubleheader against Mets

By Rob Rains

Tyler O’Neill had struck out in six of his eight at-bats in Tuesday’s doubleheader against the Mets before he came up to bat in the ninth inning of the second game.

The game was tied and the Cardinals had the potential go-ahead run on third base with two outs. The struggling O’Neill had the chance to make up for a full day’s worth of frustration.

It was his speed that allowed that to happen.

O’Neill hit a slow roller to third, and when Eduardo Escobar had trouble getting the ball out of his glove, O’Neill was able to beat his throw to first, allowing the run to score that helped the Cardinals escape with a 4-3 win and a split of the doubleheader in New York.

The Mets had tied the game in the eighth off Ryan Helsley, who allowed his first run of the year when a passed ball by Andrew Knizner on what should have been the inning-ending strikeout kept the inning alive for an RBI single against the shift by Jeff McNeil.

In the first game, the Cardinals fell behind early and didn’t score until Paul Goldschmidt homered in the eighth, their only run in a 3-1 loss.

Here is how the two games broke down:

At the plate: Goldschmidt followed up his first-game homer with three hits, including two doubles, and two RBIs in the second game. He extended his streak of reaching base on either a hit or a walk to 24 consecutive games … Brendan Donovan also had a big day as he reached base three times in each game, collecting two hits and drawing four walks. It was his walk leading off the ninth in the second game which began the game-winning rally. He stole second and went to third on a passed ball before scoring on O’Neill’s infield hit …The Cardinal got the potential winning run to the plate in the ninth inning in the opener after O’Neill singled and Donovan walked with two outs but Harrison Bader struck out to end the game.

On the mound: Steven Matz gave up only three hits in five innings in his return to New York in game two, but two of the hits were home runs … Genesis Cabrera got out of a bases-loaded one-out jam in the sixth in the second game after Andre Pallante walked three consecutive batters … The Mets got two runners on base on a walk and a hit against Giovanny Gallegos in the ninth, but he struck out Mark Canha and Francisco Lindor to end the game … In the opener, Miles Mikolas allowed two earned runs over six innings, but the Cardinals offense could only produce four hits through the first seven innings.

Key stat: The Cardinals’ streak of hitting at least one home run ended at 12 games when they failed to hit a home run in the second game.

Worth noting: Juan Yepez was 0-of-4 in the first game, snapping his streak of reaching base in the first 11 games to begin his career. He did not play in the second game … Donovan took advantage of Monday night’s rainout to propose to his longtime girlfriend during a walk through Times Square … Yadier Molina had a 15-game hitting streak at Citi Field snapped when he was 0-fo-4 in game one. The Cardinals struck out 13 times in that game …Top prospect Nolan Gorman hit his 15th homer in Memphis’ game at Gwinnett but his tie for the minor-league  home run lead lasted only a couple of innings before Springfield’s Moises Gomez hit his 16th of the year in a game at Wichita.

Looking ahead: Jordan Hicks will get the start opposite St. Louis native Max Scherzer in Wednesday night’s game.

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.