Saturday’s Game Report: Cardinals 4, Red Sox 3

Saturday’s Game Report: Cardinals 4, Red Sox 3

By Rob Rains

It was time for more ninth-inning magic for the Cardinals on Saturday against closer Kenley Jansen and the Red Sox in Boston.

After scoring three runs off Jansen in the ninth inning to pull off a come-from-behind win on Friday night, the Cardinals did it again about 20 hours later.

Nolan Gorman, who hit the game-winning homer on Friday night, was in the middle of the rally again on Saturday which this time began with the Cardinals trailing 3-1 instead of down by just a run.

Gorman came off the bench again to deliver a pinch-hit RBI double after Jansen again walked the first batter he faced on four pitches and this time also walked the next batter, thanks to being called for a pitch-clock violation on ball four.

Gorman’s double came with one out. Brendan Donovan was intentionally walked to load the bases before Alec Burleson, also pinch-hitting, hit a slow roller to second. The Red Sox got the out at second but Willson Contreras scored the tying run as Burleson beat out a wild throw to first on what could have been a game-ending double play.

When the throw got away, Gorman also was able to score and give the Cardinals their first lead of the game.

The win was the fifth for the Cardinals in their last six games. Prior to Friday night, then had been 0-18 this season when they were losing going into the ninth inning.

Here is how Saturday’s game broke down:

At the plate: Going into the ninth inning, the Cardinals had managed just three hits in eight innings against Chris Sale, who blanked the Cardinals until Nolan Arenado homered over the Green Monster leading off the seventh. Sale came out of the game after the eighth, having thrown 110 pitches in his longest start since 2019 … The only other hits off Sale were a first-inning double by Contreras and a third-inning single by Tommy Edman … Sale then retired 11 batters in a row before Arenado homered … Jansen relieved to start the ninth but immediately found himself in trouble after a four-pitch walk to Paul Goldshmidt and the walk to Contreras, called because of the pitch-clock violation and those were the two runners that came around to score to tie the game.

On the mound: All three Boston runs came against starter Steven Matz, who worked 5 1/3 innings, allowing eight hits and walking one while striking out four … Drew VerHagen kept two inherited runners from scoring in the sixth and worked a perfect seventh before Andre Pallante pitched around a one-out single in the eighth … Giovanny Gallegos allowed a two-out single in the ninth before closing out the win.

Key stat: The streak without a win from a Cardinals starter reached 14 consecutive games, dating back to April 27. The team’s starters have six combined wins in their 40 games this season, tied for the fewest in the National League with the Reds.

Worth noting: Manager Oli Marmol said before the game that Contreras will move back behind the plate to catch Jack Flaherty’s start on Monday night in St. Louis. The Cardinals switched Contreras to DH a week ago and Andrew Knizner has caught the last eight games.

Looking ahead: The Cardinals will try to complete the sweep over the Red Sox on Sunday night. Miles Mikolas will get the start. The game will be televised by ESPN.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains

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For the latest news and features in St. Louis Sports check out Rob Rains, Editor.