Saturday’s Game Report: Cardinals 11, Reds 3

Saturday’s Game Report: Cardinals 11, Reds 3

By Rob Rains

There likely have not been many times in his career when Paul Goldschmidt pulled up between first and second after hitting a home run.

In happened on Saturday, on the 300th home run of Goldschmidt’s career.

“I thought he caught it,” Goldschmidt said. “I looked at the umpire, assuming they were going to call it out, and he looked at me and said home run. It was nice.”

Reds’ leftfielder Stuart Fairchild had made a leaping attempt to catch the ball in front of the visiting bullpen at Busch Stadium but came up empty.

The home run was Goldschmidt’s 20th of the season and was the big blow in an early outburst by the Cardinals as they jumped out to a 5-1 lead after the second inning en route to the victory.

Edmundo Sosa had to leave the game in the eighth inning after sliding into the side wall trying to catch a foul ball. Initial X-rays did not show a fracture, and he was able to walk off the field on his own.

Here is how the game broke down:

At the plate: The two-run homer was Goldschmidt’s first since June 27, ending a drought of 64 at-bats. He added a third RBI in the third following an RBI triple by Dylan Carlson … The Cardinals put 11 of their first 16 batters on base before recording their sixth out, only five of whom reached on a hit. The Reds issued three walks and hit three batters in the first two innings, including a bases-loaded walk and hit by pitch in the first inning … Tommy Edman singled twice and walked in the first three innings and each time came around to score … Lars Nootbaar blew the game open with a three-run homer in the eighth.

On the mound: After allowing a leadoff home run to Jonathan India, Miles Mikolas gave up only two other hits in pitching through the seventh on the 100-degree day. He walked one and struck out four, finishing the first half of the season with a 7-7 record and 2.54 ERA … T.J. McFarland retired only one of the four hitters he faced in the eighth, leaving with the bases loaded, and Johan Oviedo allowed two of the inherited runners to score.

Key stat: An infield single by Sosa in the second inning is the only hit by the Cardinals in 23 plate appearances with the bases loaded in July, including five on Saturday. For the season they are 15-of-55 (.273) but have only one extra-base hit, a grand slam by Goldschmidt.

Draft matters: The amateur draft begins on Sunday night with the first two rounds. The Cardinals have pick numbers 22 and 59. Since Randy Flores became the scouting  director in 2016, the Cardinals have drafted nine players who are on the current 26-man roster or injured list – Carlson, Dakota Hudson, Edman and Andrew Knizner (2016), Nolan Gorman, Brendan Donovan and Nootbaar (2018) and Zack Thompson and Andre Pallante (2019). In the last two drafts the Cardinals have selected six players who are among the 10 minor-league prospects in the organization (Jordan Walker, Masyn Winn, Tink Hence, Alec Burleson, Michael McGreevy and Gordon Graceffo).

Worth noting: Nolan Arenado has decided to skip the All-Star Game because of lower back tightness which has been bothering him for several weeks, thinking the rest will help him prepare for the rest of the season … The leadoff homer was the second allowed by Mikolas in his career, both hit by the Reds (Nick Senzel in 2019). It was the fifth hit by the Reds since Busch Stadium 3 opened in 2006.

Looking ahead: Steven Matz will come off the injured list to make the start on Sunday in the final game before the All-Star break. A corresponding roster move will have to be made before the 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.