Tuesday’s Game Report: Cardinals 4, Nationals 1
By Rob Rains
Nolan Gorman has not had a lot to smile about in the last few weeks, but that might have started to change on Tuesday night.
After hitting just .196 since his last home run on August 11, Gorman broke out of that slump with an RBI double and a home run to lead the Cardinals over the Nationals at Busch Stadium.
The Cardinals gained a game on the Brewers, who blew a 6-1 lead and lost to the Rockies in 10 innings and now trail the Cardinals by 8 1/2 games. The Cardinals also extended their streak of not losing back-to-back games since the last week of July.
Gorman’s double, only his second extra-base hit in 36 at-bats, capped a three-run fourth inning for the Cardinals. In his next at-bat, he led off the seventh with a home run into the Cardinals bullpen, his 14th of the season.
It was Gorman’s first game with two extra-base hits since May 28.
Here is how the game broke down:
At the plate: The Cardinals had only scored two runs in their last 25 innings – on Albert Pujols’ homer on Sunday – before the three-run fourth. Brendan Donovan led off the inning with his third homer of the year. Nolan Arenado singled with one out, went to third on a double by Corey Dickerson and scored on a sacrifice fly by Tyler O’Neill. Dickerson then scored on Gorman’s double… They had only two hits after the third, a single by Tommy Edman in the fifth and Gorman’s homer leading off the seventh. Combined between Memphis and the Cardinals, Gorman has hit 29 homers this season … Albert Pujols pinch-hit in the eighth inning and flew out to center.
On the mound: Jose Quintana allowed one run over five innings to get the win. He scattered five hits, did not walk a batter and struck out five … The only hit off Jordan Hicks in his two innings of work was erased in a double play before Giovanny Gallegos turned in a 1-2-3 eighth … Ryan Helsley was greeted by a leadoff double in the ninth and he also issued a one-out walk to bring the tying run to the plate with one out, but he got a fly ball and strikeout to strand the runners and end the game.
Key stat: In between his home runs on Aug. 11 and Tuesday night, Gorman had gone 9-of-46, with six RBIs, striking out 15 times.
Worth noting: In his first of two planned starts at Memphis, Dakota Hudson came within one out of a complete game on Tuesday night. He allowed eight hits and walked two as he threw 109 pitches over his 8 2/3 scoreless innings, striking out eight … Steven Matz, who the Cardinals want to bring back as a reliever before the end of the year, made a rehab start for Springfield and threw 30 pitches in 1 1/3 innings. He walked three and struck out three.
Looking ahead: Jordan Montgomery will get the start on Wednesday night in the third game of the series.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains