Wednesday’s Game Report: Angels 6, Cardinals 4
By Rob Rains
In a season already filled with one tough loss after another, the Cardinals might have hit rock bottom on Wednesday night at Busch Stadium.
After getting home runs from Nolan Gorman and Dylan Carlson and four runs off the Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, they could not hold a one-run lead in the ninth inning and lost their fifth game in a row and for the 12th time in their last 14 games.
Jake Lamb led off the ninth with a pinch-hit home run off Giovanny Gallegos to tie the game and two batters later Mike Trout’s home put the Angels in front. A third run scored on a double by Ohtani and a single by Anthony Rendon, resulting in a loud chorus of boos from the fans at the ballpark.
The loss left the Cardinals with a 10-21 record, the worst record in the National League. The last time they were 11 games below .500 was on Sept. 25, 2007.
Here is how Wednesday night’s game broke down:
At the plate: Gorman hit his team-high seventh homer of the year in the first and Carlson’s two-run shot, his first of the season, came in the fourth following back-to-back doubles from Nolan Arenado and Willson Contreras … Ohtani pitched five innings, getting 13 of his 15 outs on strikeouts, which matched his career high before leaving the mound … The Cardinals had only two hits against the Angels bullpen over the final four innings, consecutive two-out singles from Arenado and Contreras in the eighth before Tyler O’Neill popped out … Arenado had his first two hit game since April 16 … Gorman’s homer snapped a streak of 134 at-bats by the Cardinals since their last home run … They ended the game with 17 strikeouts.
On the mound: Miles Mikolas worked 5 2/3 innings, allowing the first three Angels runs, including a home run by Brandon Drury in the second … Ohtani had two hits off Mikolas, including an RBI single … With two runners on base and two outs in the seventh, Ryan Helsley relieved Jordan Hicks and got a strikeout to get out of the inning and then quickly retired the Angels in order in the eighth. Despite getting the four outs on only 10 pitches, Helsley was replaced by Gallegos and the Angels rallied, handing the Cardinals their third loss this season after they had a lead going to the ninth inning … The Cardinals have not recorded a save in their last 17 games, dating back to April 14. Gallegos had only allowed one run in his first nine innings this season.
Key stat: The home runs by Drury and Lamb each came with two strikes, the 17th and 18th two-strike home runs the Cardinals have allowed this season, almost half of their total of 37 home runs allowed.
Worth noting: The Cardinals announced that David Freese was the winner of the fan balloting as this year’s selection for the team’s Hall of Fame. He will be joined by Jose Oquendo, an ownership selection, and Max Lanier, who was selected by the select veteran’s committee. The three will be inducted during a ceremony on Aug. 20 at Ballpark Village … Wilking Rodriguez, who the Cardinals selected in the Rule 5 draft, underwent surgery on his right shoulder on Wednesday and is expected to miss the rest of the season. If the Cardinals decide to keep Rodriguez, a righthanded reliever, on their 40-man roster this winter, he would have to spend 90 days on the active roster in 2024 before he could be optioned to the minors.
Looking ahead: Jack Flaherty will get the start in the 12:15 p.m. game on Thursday that will close out the series as the Cardinals once again need a win in the final game to avoid being swept in a series.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains