Sunday’s Game Report: Reds 3, Cardinals 0
By Rob Rains
The hitter who helped out the Cardinals the most on Sunday was playing in Milwaukee.
Aaron Judge hit two homers to lead the Yankees to a win over the Brewers, letting the Cardinals reduce their magic number to clinch the NL Central to eight despite their own offense taking the day off in the game against the Reds at Busch Stadium.
The Cardinals had only two hits through eight innings and fans, well aware the team had rallied to win a lot of games lately in their last at-bat, this time saw Albert Pujols, Nolan Arenado and Alec Burleson retired on a total of six pitches in the bottom of the ninth.
It was the fewest hits in a game for the Cardinals since they also were held to two hits on July 9 against the Phillies. They were shut out for the 14th time this season, the third time since the All-Star break.
Here is how the game broke down:
At the plate: The Cardinals scored one run in the last 25 innings over three games in the series … Their only hits on Sunday were a single by Paul DeJong in the third and a single by Yadier Molina in the seventh … They were 0-of-3 with a runner in scoring position and had only one runner reach second base after the fourth inning … Albert Pujols was hitless in four at-bats and remained stuck on 698 homers for his career. Four of his nine hits this month have been homers, but overall his average in September fell to .196 (9-of-46).
On the mound: Jordan Montgomery lost his second consecutive start after the Cardinals had won his first seven starts. He allowed one run in the third inning, then gave up a two-run homer in the sixth … Jake Woodford worked 2 2/3 scoreless innings in relief.
Key stat: In the five games against the Reds, the Cardinals were a combined 14-of-87, a .161 average, in the first five innings of those games, scoring a combined total of seven runs in the 25 innings. Five of those runs came in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader. On Sunday they had one hit in 15 at-bats.
Worth noting: Paul Goldschmidt had the day off after going 1-of-8 in Saturday’s doubleheader, including striking out four times in the night game. He is hitting .241 with two homers and seven RBIs in 15 games in September, all but ending his shot at winning the Triple Crown … Lars Nootbaar recorded his eighth outfield assist of the season, tying Dylan Carlson for the team lead … Moises Gomez hit two homers for Triple A Memphis on Sunday, moving back into a tie for the minor-league league. He is one homer shy of tying the Cardinals organization’s single-season record for most minor-league homers in a season since 1960. Felix DeLeon hit 37 homers in 1962 and that total was matched by Tyrone Horne in 1998. Memphis has nine games left on its schedule.
Looking ahead: The Cardinals will head to San Diego on Monday, where they will begin an eight-game, three city road trip on Tuesday night against the Padres. After three games in San Diego they will play three in Los Angeles and two in Milwaukee before returning to St. Louis for the final three home games of the regular season Sept.30-Oct. 2. Adam Wainwright is set to start the series opener.
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Oliver Marmol Post-game interview: