Monday’s Game Report: Cardinals 6, Phillies 1

Monday’s Game Report: Cardinals 6, Phillies 1

By Rob Rains

This has not been the type of season that Corey Dickerson was hoping for when he signed as a free agent with the Cardinals in spring training, but he finally had something to smile about on Monday night.

Dickerson hit his first home run at Busch Stadium and drove in three runs as the Cardinals beat the Phillies to earn a split in the four-game series after being shut out in the first two games.

Dickerson, who returned from the injured list over the weekend, had an RBI single in the Cardinals’ three-run fifth inning before hitting a two-run homer in the seventh.

Dickerson was hitting just .183 for the season coming into the game and his only two homers had come in the same game, at Chicago, on June 3, the day before he suffered a leg injury that sidelined him for more than a month.

Here is how the game broke down:

At the plate: Dylan Carlson had three hits and drove in a run while also making another outstanding catch in center field and throwing out a runner at second base. Carlson had the only two hits for the Cardinals until Dickerson’s RBI single with one out in the fifth … Lars Nootbaar  entered the game as a defensive replacement before hitting a home run in the eighth that drove in the Cardinals’ final run … Albert Pujuls just missed hitting a home run for the second day in a row, settling for a double, in advance of Dickerson’s home run.

On the mound: Miles Mikolas gave up a home run to the second batter of the game, Rhys Hoskins, but that was the only run he allowed as he pitched into the eighth inning. In  7 1/3 innings he scattered six hits, did not walk a batter and struck out five … Genesis Cabrera and Junior Fernandez combined to cover the final 1 2/3 innings.

Key stat: The bottom three hitters in the Cardinals lineup – Dickerson, Edmundo Sosa and Andrew Knizner, all of whom were hitting less than .183 coming into the game – combined for four hits in nine at-bats, drove in five of the Cardinals’ six runs and scored three times.

Worth noting: Pujols confirmed after the game that he will participate in the Home Run Derby at next week’s All-Star game in Los Angeles … Reliever T.J. McFarland was activated from the injured list and Zack Thompson was optioned to Memphis instead of the Cardinals keeping four lefthanders in their bullpen. In nine relief outings, Thompson had a 0.60 ERA and held opposing hitters to a .140 batting average. It will be interesting to see if Thompson goes to Memphis as a reliever or as a starter … Jack Flaherty was moved to the 60-day injured list, meaning he won’t return to the Cardinals until mid-August at the earliest … Steven Matz is scheduled to make what could be his final rehab start on Tuesday night with a target of 75 pitches … Tyler O’Neill took batting practice and threw in the outfield before Monday night’s game. How he recovers will determine when he will be activated off the injured list.

Looking ahead: Matthew Liberatore will get the start on Tuesday night in the opener of a three-game series against the Dodgers.

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.