Wednesday’s Game Report: Cardinals 5, Reds 3 (13 innings)
By Rob Rains
Albert Pujols thought he might have had the final at-bat of his career in Cincinnati in the eighth inning on Wednesday night. Then he could have thought the same thing in the 11th. Finally in the 13th, he offered up one final highlight.
Pujols’ sacrifice fly broke a 2-2 tie that had stood since the fourth inning, and when Lars Nootbaar followed with a two-run homer, the Cardinals had enough runs to pull out the victory over the Reds in a 4 hour, 48 minute marathon.
The win came in a game in which the Cardinals did not get a hit in 17 at-bats with a runner in scoring position. On defense, Tommy Edman threw out two runners at the plate in the extra innings to prevent the Reds from winning the game.
The Cardinals finished the month of August with a 22-7 record and did not lose consecutive games in the month. They lead the NL Central by six games over the Brewers.
Here is how the game broke down:
At the plate: The Cardinals’only runs before the 13th came on a two-run homer by Nolan Arenado, off the left field foul pole, in the fourth that tied the game at 2. It was his 28th homer of the year and increased his RBI total to 89 … After leaving four runners on base between the 10th and 12th, the Cardinals broke through in the 13th. A groudout by Arenado moved up ghost runner Paul Goldschmidt to third, and he scored easily on Pujols’ fly ball to center field. After Tyler O’Neill walked, Nootbaar came through with the Cardinals’ first hit since the 7th inning to provide the two extra runs … The Cardinals finished August with a franchise record 51 home runs for the month.
On the mound: Relievers Ryan Helsley and Andre Pallante combined to strand 10 Cincinnati baserunners in the four extra innings, with Pallante escaping bases-loaded jams in both the 11th and 12th. He pitched three innings to earn the victory. For the game the Reds left 17 runners on base. The Reds did score once in the 13th after the Cardinals scored three times in the top of the inning … The first two runs for the Reds scored in the third off starter Jose Quintana.
Key stat: The game equaled the second longest game, in innings, the Cardinals have played at the Great American Ballpark since it opened in 2003. They also played a 13-inning game in 2015 and a 16-inning game in 2013. The Cardinals won all three of those games.
Worth noting: Jack Flaherty made his final rehab start on Wednesday night for Springfield. He threw 102 pitches in 6 2/3 innings, allowing seven hits and three runs while walking two and striking out nine. He will start for the Cardinals on Monday against the Nationals … The Cardinals released their 2023 spring training schedule on Wednesday. The 29-game slate will begin on Saturday, Feb. 25 against the Nationals in Jupiter … Longtime Cardinals executive Lee Thomas, who also worked as a coach and minor-league manager, died on Wednesday after a long illness. He was 86.
Looking ahead: After a day off on Thursday, the Cardinals will be back at Busch Stadium on Friday night to open a weekend series against the Cubs.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains