Tuesday’s Game Report: Giants 5, Cardinals 4
By Rob Rains
The Cardinals found another way to lose on Tuesday night in San Francisco.
After their sputtering offense finally broke through with a three-run rally in the eighth inning, the Cardinals saw another error open the door to a three-run ninth for the Giants, capped off by a walk-off two-run home run by Blake Sabol off Ryan Helsley when the Cardinals were one strike away from a win.
It was the first walk-off loss of the year for the Cardinals, who lost for the fourth time in the first five games of their 10-game West Coast trip.
The error by Tommy Edman, moved to second an inning earlier, led off the inning, his second in as many games. It was followed by a double that cut the Cardinals’ lead to 4-3. Helsley retired the next two batters on a popup and strikeout, but Sabol ended the game with his blast over the center field wall on a 1-2 pitch.
The loss dropped the Cardinals to 9-15 on the season, their worst record after the first 24 games of the season since they were 5-19 in 1973.
Here is how Tuesday night’s game broke down:
At the plate: Trailing 2-1 in the eighth, the Cardinals got a leadoff single from Dylan Carlson followed by a pinch-hit single by Paul DeJong and a pinch-hit double by Tyler O’Neill, both on the first pitch, to tie the game. The Cardinals had been just 1-of-13 in pinch-hit at-bats so far this season before that inning. Paul Goldschmidt followed with a line drive off the glove of shortstop Brandon Crawford that bounced into center field for a two-run single that put the Cardinals up 4-2 … Before that rally, the Cardinals’ only run had come on a home run in the third inning by Edman, his fourth of the season … They had just two singles after that before the rally in the eighth.
On the mound: Jake Woodford pitched into the sixth inning, allowing two runs, one of them unearned because of errors on the same play by Willson Contreras and Carlson, on a stolen base attempt. A home run by Mike Yastrezmski in the fourth had given the Giants a 2-1 lead … Genesis Cabrera retired all five hitters he faced, four on strikeouts, and Giovanny Gallegos pitched around a single and walk in the eighth to protect the Cardinals’ 4-2 lead for the moment … The home run by Sabol was the first walk-off homer Helsley has allowed in his career.
Key stat: Goldschmidt’s two RBIs came after he and Nolan Arenado had a combined total of three RBIs in their last 11 games, covering 91 plate appearances between the two.
Worth noting: Jordan Walker did not play for the second game in a row and the third time in the last four games. He spent the pre-game working in the batting cage with hitting coach Turner Ward … Adam Wainwright made his second rehab start for Double A Springfield and allowed seven hits and three runs over 4 1/3 innings at Wichita. He threw 74 pitches, walking one and striking out one. The Cardinals now will have to make a decision on whether to put him back into the rotation or have him make one more rehab start in the minors.
Looking ahead: Steven Matz will get the start on Wednesday night in game three of the four-game series.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains