Monday’s Game Report: Cardinals 13, Reds 4
By Rob Rains
Tyler O’Neill is heating up, and it could not be happening at a better time for the Cardinals.
After a frustrating first four months this season in which he hit only five home runs in 202 at-bats, O’Neill has now matched that total – in his last 22 at-bats.
O’Neill hit two of those homers on Monday night to lead the Cardinals to a rain-delayed win over the Reds in Cincinnati. He also hit the game-winning home run on Sunday night at home against the Braves.
Albert Pujols also homered, the 694th of his career, leaving him just three homers away from passing Alex Rodriguez and moving into fourth place all-time. The home run came off St. Louis native Ross Detwiler, the 450th pitcher to allow a home run to Pujols in his career, passing the record of 449 that had been set by Barry Bonds.
The Cardinals remained six games ahead of the Brewers in the NL Central.
Here is how the game broke down:
At the plate: Every Cardinal starter except Paul Goldschmidt, who was 0-of-4 and struck out three times, had at least one hit and scored at least one run … Seven Cardinals had at least one RBI … The big night started with a six-run second inning that included O’Neill’s first homer … Pujols homered in the third and O’Neill hit his second homer when the Cardinals added four runs in the sixrh … Corey Dickerson hit their fourth homer of the night in the ninth, off a position player … Nolan Arenado’s two RBIs tied him with Goldschmidt for the team lead with 27 in August.
On the mound: Despite being staked to an 8-0 lead, Miles Mikolas could not get through the fifth inning to get the win. He was pulled after getting just one out in the fifth, allowing three home runs in the span of five batters … Chris Stratton, Zack Thompson and Jake Woodford combined to cover the final 4 2/3 innings … In his first appearance since being recalled from Memphis, Thompson walked one in his two innings of work.
Key stat: Pujols has 33 games left in the season to hit six home runs to reach the 700 mark. In his career, he has hit six or more home runs eight times in September but hasn’t done that since 2015.
Worth noting: Jack Flaherty’s final rehab start on Wednesday will be in Springfield since Memphis will be on the road at Nashville … The Cardinals are now a season-high 21 games over .500 (75-54) and are 21-6 in August with two games left in the month, which gives them a chance to match the franchise record for the month of 23 wins set in 1944 … The team batting average for August is now .291. They have averaged 6.2 runs a game in their 27 games this month with 48 home run.
Looking ahead: Dakota Hudson will get the start on Tuesday night in the second game of the series.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains