Tuesday’s Game Report: Blue Jays 8, Cardinals 1
By Rob Rains
The transition from being a closer to a starting pitcher is proving to be a little more difficult for Jordan Hicks than the Cardinals had hoped.
Hicks failed to get an out in the fourth inning, giving up four runs, as the Blue Jays blew out the Cardinals on Tuesday night at Busch Stadium.
It was the seventh start of the season for Hicks after he appeared in relief in his first two games of the season. Only once has he been able to complete five innings.
His problem on Tuesday night, as it has been in other games, was control. He walked five of the 18 hitters he faced, throwing just 40 of his 78 pitches for strikes. In a combined 29 2/3 innings this season, Hicks has issued 20 walks. In his seven starts, Hicks has walked 18 in 25 2/3 innings. Two of the Toronto hitters who walked came around to score.
The Cardinals are 2-5 in the games Hicks has started.
One of the four hits allowed by Hicks was a three-run homer by Danny Jansen, his first of two in the game. The other Toronto homer came from Vladimir Guerrero Jr., whose father played three games at Busch Stadium 3 in 2007 and had two hits but did not hit a home run.
The loss snapped the Cardinals’ four-game winning streak.
Here is how the game broke down:
At the plate: The Cardinals only had six hits, snapping their string of consecutive games with 10 or more hits at seven … Paul Goldschmidt had two of the hits, and drew a walk, as he extended his hitting streak to 16 games and his on-base streak to 30 consecutive games … The Cardinals only run came in the seventh, when Tommy Edman doubled and scored on a single by Brendan Donovan … Juan Yepez and Nolan Gorman each struck out three times.
On the mound: Hicks walked the leadoff hitter in both the first and second inning and gave up a hit to the leadoff hitter in the fourth when he came out of the game after allowing the first four hitters to reach base … Hicks’s ERA for the season rose to 5.02 and his ERA in his seven starts is 5.61 … Nick Wittgren and Drew VerHagen allowed two runs each in two innings of relief before Junior Fernandez shut out the Blue Jays in the eighth and ninth.
Worth noting: Paul DeJong had his best game since being optioned to Memphis two weeks ago, going 3-of-4 with his first home run, a double and four RBIs on Tuesday … The Cardinals made a number of roster moves among their minor-league affiliates. Among the players promoted were three of the organization’s top prospects – shortstop Masyn Winn and pitchers Michael McGreevy and Gordon Gracefello – sent from Peoria to Double A Springfield … Another top prospect, catcher Ivan Herrera, made his major-league debut for the Cardinals by catching the ninth inning.
Looking ahead: The Cardinals will have an unusual day off on Wednesday following the two-game series. They will begin a four-game series against the Brewers on Thursday night at Busch Stadium, with Adam Wainwright the scheduled starter.
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