Monday’s Game Report: Diamondbacks 6, Cardinals 3
By Rob Rains
As Pavin Smith circled the bases after hitting a grand slam in the seventh inning Monday night, television cameras found Jack Flaherty standing in the Cardinals’ dugout. The exasperated look on his face told the story of how his night went better than any words could do.
After falling behind three pitches into the game, Flaherty had his most dominating start of the year as he pitched into the seventh inning, when he allowed a home run to the leadoff hitter, Ketel Marte. A double and walk followed, and Flaherty’s night was over.
That’s why he was standing in the dugout when Andre Pallante, after issuing a four-pitch walk, served up the grand slam to Smith that clinched the Diamondbacks’ win over the Cardinals in the opener of a three-game series at Busch Stadium.
After Marte’s RBI single in the first, Flaherty allowed only two baserunners, both on walks, over a span of 17 batters but did not get any help from the Cardinals’ offense as they fell to 0-6 in the opening game of a series so far this season.
Here is how Monday night’s game broke down:
At the plate: After being shut out through the first five innings, the Cardinals finally tied the game 1-1 in the sixth. Brendan Donovan beat out a bunt single, went to second on a balk, took third on a wild pitch and scored when Willson Contreras doubled on the 10th pitch of his at-bat … After Arizona regained the lead, the Cardinals other runs scored on a two-run homer by Alec Burleson in the eighth …Four of the Cardinals’ six hits came from their top three hitters in the lineup which included Contreras’ two doubles as he moved up to third in the order with Paul Goldschmidt getting his first day off of the season … They only had five at-bats with a runner in scoring position.
On the mound: Flaherty struck out four and walked three. He gave up a leadoff double to the first batter of the game before the RBI single by Marte. He also was charged with the two runners he left on base who scored on the Smith grand slam off Pallante… Even though the Cardinals said they wanted to find some low-leverage situations for Jordan Hicks, they brought in Genesis Cabrera to pitch when they were losing 6-1 in the eighth and he worked the final two innings.
Key stat: The Cardinals have lost six of their last eight games at home and Burleson’s home run was only their third in a span of 286 plate appearances over the last six-plus games. Over that same stretch their pitchers have allowed nine home runs.
Worth noting: Since his 12-game hitting streak ended, Jordan Walker has just one hit in his last 16 at-bats … With Goldschmidt getting the day off, Nolan Arenado and Walker are the only Cardinals to appear in all of their 17 games so far this season … Donovan played first base in place of Goldschmidt while Nolan Gorman played second and Burleson served as the DH … Reliever Wilking Rodriguez is set to begin a rehab assignment with Memphis on Thursday.
Looking ahead: Jordan Montgomery will get the start on Wednesday night in the second game of the series.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains