Friday’s Game Report: Cardinals 8, Red Sox 6

Friday’s Game Report: Cardinals 8, Red Sox 6

By Rob Rains

As the Cardinals came to bat in the ninth inning Friday night, they trailed the Red Sox 6-5 and Kenley Jansen was warming up on the mound, two days after the star closer recorded the 400th save of his career.

Jansen had only allowed one run in 11 2/3 innings this season and was facing the bottom of the Cardinals’ lineup.

The odds, considering everything that has gone wrong for the Cardinals this season, were not in their favor.

So much for the odds. Paul DeJong drew a leadoff walk, stole second and scored the tying run on a single by Lars Nootbaar, who then stole second and took third on a throwing error by the catcher.

Pinch-hitter Nolan Gorman, facing Jansen for the first time in his career, worked the count to 3-2 before slamming a home run into the right field seats at Fenway Park that gave the Cardinals their first ninth-inning comeback win of the season.

The Cardinals had been 0-18 this season with they were losing going to the ninth inning.

Here is how Friday night’s game broke down:

At the plate: The Cardinals had four hits in the first five innings against James Paxton, all by Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt. One of Arenado’s hits was a line drive two-run homer over the Green Monster in the first inning. Paxton left after five innings, and nine strikeouts, as he was making his first start in the majors since April 6, 2021 … The Cardinals put together a three-run inning against the Red Sox bullpen in the sixth to take the lead, getting a leadoff home run from Willson Contreras and a RBI double by Nootbaar. The third run scored on a double play … Arenado had four hits and Goldschmidt finished with three hits.

On the mound: The Red Sox took the lead in the eighth when Genesis Cabrera walked the first two hitters in the inning followed by a double that tied the game at 5. Ryan Helsley relieved and the second run scored on a ground out … Helsley retired all six hitters he faced, striking out the side in the ninth… Starter Adam Wainwright allowed four runs over five innings, including giving up home runs on consecutive pitches in the fifth.

Key stat: Jansen, who also allowed a double to Tommy Edman after the Gorman home runs, was making the 779th appearance of his career. It was only the fifth time he failed to record an out, only the second time it has happened in his last 495 games since 2015.

Worth noting: Gorman had been 1-of-14 in his career as a pinch-hitter with one RBI, including 0-of-4 this season. As a team the Cardinals were 3-of-24 when pinch-hitting this season. They also got a pinch-hit single from Brendan Donovan in the sixth that led to one of their runs … Tink Hence, the Cardinals’ top pitching prospect, returned from the injured list at Peoria on Friday night working three scoreless innings with five strikeouts in his first start since April 13. He threw 32 pitches, 25 of them strikes, while allowing one hit.

Looking ahead: Steve Matz will get the start on Saturday in the second game of the series.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains

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