Friday’s Game Report: Cardinals 5, Diamondbacks 1
By Rob Rains
The Cardinals may finally be seeing what can happen when Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado are both hitting well at the same time.
Goldschmidt had three hits, including his 30th homer, and Arenado had three doubles in a four-hit night that led the Cardinals over the Diamondbacks Friday night in Phoenix.
Each drove in two runs as the Cardinals raised their record in August to 13-3, moved to a season-best 16-games above .500 (67-51) and increased their NL Central lead to four games over the Brewers.
It’s the biggest lead for the Cardinals since they had a 4 ½ game advantage on Sept. 8, 2019.
Goldschmidt raised his average in August to .407 (22-of-54) with six homers, six doubles and 18 RBIs while Arenado is hitting .349 (22-of-63) this month with six homers, eight doubles and 17 RBIs.
Here is how the game broke down:
At the plate: Goldschmidt’s homer in the first inning gave the Cardinals their only run until a four-run seventh when he picked up his 96th RBI of the season on an infield single and Arenado followed with a two-run double … Arenado now has 77 RBIs this season … Yadier Molina had his first three-hit game of the season … Paul DeJong struck out in all four of his at-bats and is now 0-of-16 in his last five games with 11 strikeouts.
On the mound: Miles Mikolas allowed just one hit and three baserunners through seven scoreless innings, the hit coming with two outs in the fourth. He gave up his second hit, a leadoff double, in the eighth and that runner ended up scoring on a fly ball and a ground out. The only other Arizona baserunners allowed by Mikolas came on a walk and a hit batter … Jordan Hicks gave up a double and single to the first two batters he faced in the ninth but he then ended the game and stranded the runners with three consecutive strikeouts.
Key stat: This was the first time this season the Cardinals won the first game of a road trip. They had been 0-9 in those games.
Worth noting: This is the seventh time in Goldschmidt’s career that he has hit 30 or more homers. His career high is 36, set in 2013 and matched in 2017 … This was the first game when Molina has caught Mikolas since May 17 … The Cardinals placed closer Ryan Helsley on paternity leave and recalled JoJo Romero from Memphis. Romero was the pitcher acquired from the Phillies for Edmundo Sosa just before the trade deadline. Helsley is not expected to rejoin the team until Monday in Chicago … The Cardinals also reinstated Juan Yepez from the injured list and optioned him to Memphis.
Looking ahead: Dakota Hudson will get the start Saturday night in the second game of the series.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains